UPDATE 1-China ministry says protectionist sentiment rising in US

(Adds Huawei-AT&T deal, China Daily editorial)

BEIJING, Jan 11 (Reuters) - China's commerce ministry said on Thursday protectionist sentiment is rising in the United States after Chinese company Ant Financial's plan to buy U.S. money transfer firm MoneyGram International Inc collapsed.

China is disappointed that the Ant Financial-MoneyGram deal was rejected on national security grounds, ministry spokesman Gao Feng said in a regular briefing.

Ant Financial's plan to acquire MoneyGram collapsed last week after a U.S. government panel rejected the deal over national security concerns, the most high-profile Chinese deal to be torpedoed during U.S. President Donald Trump's administration.

Ant Financial is owned by Chinese internet conglomerate Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

In another blow to the global ambitions of Chinese firms, Huawei Technologies Co's planned deal with U.S. carrier AT&T Inc to sell its smartphones in the United States has fallen apart at the 11th hour because of security concerns.

An editorial in the official China Daily on Thursday attributed the termination of the Huawei-AT&T deal to political pressure instead of business considerations, and said this scuppers the kind of win-win deals China has always sought.

"This is not the first time U.S. politicians have stooped to mudslinging to prevent the entry of Chinese high-tech companies into the U.S. market on the pretext they pose national security threats," said the China Daily.

The editorial added that the U.S. continually criticises China for not opening its market wider and not providing a level playing field for foreign companies.

"Yet its blocking of deals involving Chinese companies in sectors where it has traditionally had an advantage shows its criticisms have more validity if directed at the U.S. market," the editorial said. (Reporting by Elias Glenn and Stella Qiu; Editing by Richard Borsuk)