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China: New U.S. Law Severely Damages Mutual Trust

Shen Danyang, a spokesman of China’s Ministry of Commerce, says that the measures within the Obama administration’s recently signed stopgap measure go too far and send the wrong signal. When signed into law, the stopgap prevents a handful of U.S. agencies from purchasing IT equipment manufactured in China due to national security concerns.

Shen Danyang, a spokesman of China’s Ministry of Commerce, says that the measures within the Obama administration’s recently signed stopgap measure go too far and send the wrong signal. When signed into law, the stopgap prevents a handful of U.S. agencies from purchasing IT equipment manufactured in China due to national security concerns.

Danyang’s comments were made to Chinese media over the weekend after news of the new law spread to the Communist nation. The Ministry of Commerce spokesman said that the law “affects the normal trade and investment cooperation between Chinese companies and their US partners.”

Moreover, he adds, the provisions in the stopgap “has seriously violated the fair trade rule and damaged China-US mutual trust and bilateral cooperation in high-tech sectors.”

According to section 516 (PDF) of last week’s newly signed law, none of the money appropriated can be used by the Departments of Commerce and Justice, NASA, or the National Science Foundation to acquire IT technology unless the head of the agency involved and the FBI has assessed “any associated risk of cyber-espionage or sabotage associated with the acquisition of such system…” 

This includes any risk associated with IT technology that was “produced, manufactured or assembled by one or more entities that are owned, directed or subsidized by the People’s Republic of China.”

Danyang’s comments come after Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said last Thursday that the U.S. should abandon their discriminatory practices against Chinese enterprises. “We hope the US side could get rid of such a move and do more things that will promote the development of bilateral ties and mutual trust,” Lei said in a statement. 

In addition to IT spending, the stopgap measure also prevents the U.S. from issuing export permits to commercial satellites sold to China. Moreover, it requires regular reporting on government travel to China, and a full accounting as to the reason for such trips. Another anti-Chinese measure in the law (section 535) pointed out by the Foreign Ministry office centers on the provision that prevents NASA and the Office of Science and Technology Policy from bilateral coordination, participation, or collaboration with China or any Chinese owned company unless previously authorized.

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Related: Sprint to Remove Chinese Telecom Equipment Inline With New Law

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