One day before high-level trade talks are scheduled to begin in Washington, China made its displeasure toward the US known. In responding to the Justice Department's indictment of tech giant Huawei on Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang released a biting statement on the US' "unreasonable crackdown on Chinese companies." It reads in part: "For some time now, the United States has deployed its state power to smear and crack down on targeted Chinese companies in an attempt to kill their normal and legal business operations." CNN reports Huawei released a statement of its own that noted the DOJ had "rejected without explanation" all its requests for meetings.
As for the DOJ's cases against Huawei, one accuses it and its CFO of conspiring to skirt US sanctions by clandestinely doing business with Iran; the other alleges Huawei stole T-Mobile's robotic arm technology. Why should you care about all this? In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, former chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Mike Rogers says it all boils down to the 5G wireless networks that are coming to our homes and China's desire to dominate them through Huawei—something that must be stopped. Read his argument here. As for the trade talks, the AP reports analysts still expect them to occur against this highly charged backdrop but predict the barrier to reaching a successful agreement just got higher. There's a looming deadline: US tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods are scheduled to rise on March 1 from 10% to 25%.
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