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Beijing wants the US to stop 'inappropriate' actions against Chinese firms

Key Points
  • The Chinese government would like the U.S. to cancel "inappropriate" actions against Chinese companies, Wang Shouwen, vice minister of commerce, said Monday. 
  • The U.S. Commerce Department on Friday New York time added five Chinese technology companies to the so-called entity list that effectively prohibits them from buying parts from U.S. companies.
Chinese Vice Commerce Minister and Deputy China International Trade Representative Wang Shouwen.
Jason Lee | Reuters

BEIJING — The Chinese government would like the U.S. to cancel "inappropriate" actions against Chinese companies, vice commerce minister Wang Shouwen said Monday.

The U.S. Commerce Department on Friday added five Chinese technology companies to the so-called entity list that effectively prohibits them from buying parts from American companies.

"We hope the U.S. side, under the principles of free trade and the spirit of WTO (World Trade Organization) principles, can cancel these inappropriate measures against Chinese companies, and remove them from the entity list. This has benefits for both sides," Wang said in Mandarin, according to a CNBC translation.

He was speaking at a press conference Monday morning about Chinese President Xi Jinping's upcoming trip to the G-20 summit at the end of this week in Osaka, Japan.

The latest U.S. actions come after Chinese telecom and smartphone giant Huawei was added to the entity list in May, and after President Donald Trump and Xi held a phone call last Tuesday about plans to meet at the G-20 summit.

The move will not disrupt planning for a Trump-Xi meeting directly, but Beijing will see it as further evidence that those around Trump intend to blunt China's rise as a tech power.
Michael Hirson

U.S. and Chinese stock indexes rallied after news of the call, in hopes the world's two largest economies would soon reach an agreement on a trade dispute that has lasted for more than a year, and roiled global equity markets as well as fueled concerns about economic growth worldwide.

"Beijing received another reminder of US's willingness to crack down on Chinese tech firms on Friday, with the Commerce Department's announcement that it will place several Chinese supercomputing companies — including number two firm Sugon — on the entity list," Michael Hirson, practice head, China and Northeast Asia, at Eurasia Group, said in a note released over the weekend.

"The move will not disrupt planning for a Trump-Xi meeting directly, but Beijing will see it as further evidence that those around Trump intend to blunt China's rise as a tech power," he said.

Discussions are underway between the U.S. and Chinese negotiating teams ahead of the G-20 meeting, and both countries should make compromises in trade talks, Wang said Monday.

Wang did not directly mention whether Huawei will be part of any trade agreement.

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