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Iran Press TV

Trump administration: Huawei, 19 other firms in US backed by Chinese military

Iran Press TV

Thursday, 25 June 2020 5:16 AM

The administration of US President Donald Trump claims that 20 top Chinese firms operating in the United States are either owned or backed by the Chinese military, a report says.

Citing an internal document from the US Defense Department on Wednesday, Reuters said that telecoms equipment giant Huawei Technologies, video surveillance company Hikvision, China Telecoms, China Mobile and AVIC are some of the top companies.

Other important firms include China Mobile Communications Group, China Telecommunications Corp. as well as aircraft manufacturer Aviation Industry Corp. of China.

China Railway Construction Corp., China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp (CASIC), as well as CRRC, the world's largest maker of passenger trains, are the others.

The US placed Huawei and Hikvision on a trade blacklist last year over national security concerns, but the new development can lay the groundwork for new US financial sanctions.

Washington has also led an international campaign aiming to convince allies to exclude Huawei from their 5G networks.

The Defense Department, under US law, is required to track firms "owned or controlled" by China's People's Liberation Army that operate in the US.

In recent months, the Pentagon has come under pressure from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers to publish and update the list amid rising tensions between Washington and Beijing over technology, trade and foreign policy.

In November, US senators Tom Cotton and Chuck Schumer, in a letter to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, requested an update on reviews of US policy that are mandated by the Export Control Reform Act of 2018 and the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.

"Will you commit to updating and publicly releasing this list as soon as possible?" read part of the letter.

The new designations do not bring about penalties, however, the law stipulates the president may impose sanctions that could include blocking all property of the listed parties.

According to a senior administration official, the list can be seen as "a useful tool for the US Government, companies, investors, academic institutions, and likeminded partners to conduct due diligence with regard to partnerships with these entities, particularly as the list grows."

While Huawei, China Mobile, China Telecoms, AVIC and the Chinese Embassy in Washington did not respond to requests for comment, Hikvision called the accusations "baseless."

It said it was not a "Chinese military company," and that it had never taken part in any R&D work for military applications. It also said it would cooperate with the US government to resolve the issue.

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