China: US equipment ban amounts to 'economic bullying behavior'

China: US equipment ban amounts to 'economic bullying behavior'
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China accused the United States of "economic bullying behavior" after U.S. regulators proposed barring U.S. telecommunications providers from using Federal Communications Commission (FCC) funding to buy equipment from certain Chinese companies. 

China Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang was quoted in The Associated Press as saying that China would “resolutely oppose the U.S. abusing state power to suppress specific Chinese enterprises with unwarranted charges in the absence of any evidence.”

“The economic bullying behavior of the U.S. is a denial of the market economy principle that the U.S. has always advertised,” Geng said. 

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He added that the action would “undermine the interests” of U.S. companies and consumers, particularly in rural regions. 

“We would like to urge the U.S. once again to stop abusing the concept of national security,” Geng said.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Monday announced a proposal to prevent telecom companies from using money in the agency's Universal Service Fund (USF) from countries considered national security threats, saying he would designate Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE as possible threats.  

He also proposed requiring providers that have used the USF to rip out equipment from corporations including Huawei and ZTE.

Pai said that a reason for the potential ban is a Chinese law requiring companies and citizens to assist government intelligence work.