The Chinese electronics firm Huawei Technologies Ltd. and Chinese 5G firms have been targeted by a bipartisan measure that would bar them from using U.S. banks.
Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, are pushing a bill to “severely censure” Huawei and other “untrustworthy” Chinese 5G manufacturers, whom they claim are involved in economic espionage against the United States.
By including these organisations on the Treasury Department’s Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List, the measure effectively bans them from using the American financial system.
A request for comment from Reuters was not immediately answered by Huawei.
“China resolutely opposes the U.S.’s generalisation of the idea of national security (and) its abuse of state power to restrict Chinese firms,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry declared.
After the bipartisan bill was proposed by American lawmakers, Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, stated at a routine press briefing that China would “firmly safeguard” the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese corporations.
Attempts have been made in the past by American lawmakers to limit Huawei’s access to American banks, with a similar bill being proposed in 2020 while President Donald Trump was in power.
Cotton said in a statement on Tuesday that “we’ve made considerable achievements in recent years at home and abroad in resisting Huawei’s hostile aspirations to dominate 5G and steal Americans’ data.”
He continued, “We cannot provide Huawei and the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal information and our nation’s most crucial defence systems.”
Two Chinese intelligence officials were accused of trying to sabotage the Huawei investigation by U.S. prosecutors in October. Prosecutors claimed that although the recruit was acting as an agent for the United States, the two Chinese nationals had attempted to hire the U.S. law enforcement officer to work as their spy.
The US Federal Communications Commission passed regulations last month outlawing new Huawei telecommunications equipment.