On Saturday, China’s foreign ministry called on the U.S. to stop its “unreasonable suppression” of Huawei and other Chinese companies. The foreign ministry told that it would “firmly defend its companies’ legal rights” in response to a question about possible retaliation in response to the U.S.
But strong words weren’t all that came out of China’s request to the U.S.
While the ministry didn’t directly threaten to push back in its response to Reuters, a Chinese newspaper connected to President Xi Jinping’s party reported that a source said the Chinese government was ready to retaliate against Washington.
The source, who is described as close to China’s government, the Global Times that China was planning countermeasures, such as “imposing restrictions” against U.S. companies like Apple, Cisco, and Qualcomm. The source also suggested the possibility of China halting Boeing airplane purchases.
On Friday, the U.S. Commerce Department it was amending its export rules in order to “narrowly and strategically target Huawei’s acquisition of semiconductors that are the direct product of certain U.S. software and technology.” This move would block crucial components from being shipped to the Chinese phone manufacturer from global chipmakers.
President Donald Trump’s ongoing trade war with China was officially extended on Wednesday, when Trump he was invoking the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to bar U.S. companies from using certain products. The order was specifically targeted at telecommunications companies like Huawei.
This was just the next step in a long battle that has been brewing between the U.S. government and Huawei. The U.S. has banned government officials from using the company’s products specifically, the phonemaker implements backdoors in its technology in order for the Chinese government to spy. Trump had also Huawei to the Entity List, prohibiting the company from buying products from U.S. companies with government approval.
According to the Global Times’ source, “China will take forceful countermeasures to protect its own legitimate rights” if the Trump administration goes ahead with the plan to block essential suppliers of chips from selling these components to Huawei.