US President Donald Trump has raised the possibility of easing restrictions on Huawei as part of a broader trade deal with Beijing, despite labelling the Chinese telecommunications giant “very dangerous”.
The comments on Thursday, which appear to run counter to Washington’s hardline policy on Huawei, come just a week after the US Department of Commerce placed the company on a trade blacklist, effectively barring it from conducting business with US companies, CNN reported.
“Huawei is something that’s very dangerous” from a security standpoint, Trump told reporters on Thursday.
But then he floated the idea of using the Chinese tech firm as leverage in the ongoing trade negotiations with China.
“It’s possible that Huawei even would be included in some kind of trade deal,” Trump said. “If we made a deal, I can imagine Huawei being included in some form of, some part of a trade deal.”
In response to Trump, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Gao Feng said: “Recently the US is frequently using ‘long-arm jurisdiction’ to suppress Chinese enterprises. China urges the US to stop the wrongdoings to avoid further impact on the China-US trade relations.
“If the US would like to continue to talk, it should show its sincerity and correct its wrong actions.”
The US has long branded Huawei – the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker and the No. 2 smartphone brand – as a security risk.
The Trump administration has been pressuring allies to restrict Huawei equipment in the build out of their 5G networks, citing national security concerns. Washington fears that Beijing could use Huawei equipment to spy on other countries, but has not provided any evidence that such acts have occurred.
Huawei has repeatedly denied that any of its products pose a security risk, noting that Beijing has never requested access to its equipment and if it did, the company would refuse to comply, reports CNN.
The Chinese government denies stealing intellectual property and committing unfair trade practices.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday said the dispute over Huawei could deepen, reiterating the security risk posed by Huawei’s technology and saying he expects other international companies to elect not to use their products.