China accuses Britain of discriminating with tech ban

China accuses Britain of discriminating with tech ban
British telecom companies face hefty fines if they don’t comply with strict new security rules under proposed legislation introduced in Parliament Tuesday Nov. 24, 2020, aimed at blocking high-risk equipment suppliers like China’s Huawei. (AP/File)
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Updated 25 November 2020

China accuses Britain of discriminating with tech ban

China accuses Britain of discriminating with tech ban
  • The Trump administration is lobbying European and other allies to avoid Huawei and other Chinese vendors

BEIJING: China accused Britain on Wednesday of improperly attacking Chinese tech companies after the British government proposed a law to block market access to telecom equipment giant Huawei and other vendors that are deemed high-risk.
The foreign ministry gave no indication whether Beijing might retaliate if the law proposed Tuesday is approved. It would tighten security requirements for next-generation wireless and optical fiber networks and fine violators.
The Trump administration is lobbying European and other allies to avoid Huawei and other Chinese vendors as they upgrade telecom networks. Washington says Huawei, China’s first global tech brand, is a security risk, which the company denies.
“Without any evidence, the British side has repeatedly cooperated with the United States to discriminate against and suppress Chinese companies under the pretext of unfounded risks,” said a ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian.
Britain is “blatantly violating the principles of market economy and free trade, seriously damaging the normal operations of Chinese companies” and hurting trust between the two governments, Zhao said.
Huawei is at the center of US-Chinese tension over technology and security.
The Trump administration is trying to limit US market access to Chinese companies it says might collect too much information about users or pose other risks. They include video app TikTok, video surveillance provider HikVision and messaging service WeChat.
The law proposed Tuesday would formalize British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s July order that blocks Huawei from a planned fifth-generation, or 5G, network. Britain earlier gave Huawei a limited role but reversed that under US pressure.


Heavily armed man arrested at Washington security checkpoint

Heavily armed man arrested at Washington security checkpoint
Updated 32 min 40 sec ago

Heavily armed man arrested at Washington security checkpoint

Heavily armed man arrested at Washington security checkpoint
  • Washington is under a high state of alert ahead of Biden’s Wednesday inauguration
  • Security officials have warned that armed pro-Trump extremists pose a threat to Washington

WASHINGTON: A heavily armed man has been arrested in Washington at a security checkpoint near the US Capitol, where President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated next week, authorities said.
Wesley Allen Beeler, of Virginia, was taken into custody after police found him with a handgun and more than 500 rounds of ammunition, shotgun shells and a magazine for the gun, according to a police report obtained by AFP.
He had tried to pass through the checkpoint using fake inaugural credentials, CNN reported, citing a law enforcement source.
Washington is under a high state of alert ahead of Biden’s Wednesday inauguration, after a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6.
Five people died in the assault, including a police officer.
Security officials have warned that armed pro-Trump extremists, possibly carrying explosives, pose a threat to Washington as well as state capitals over the coming week.
Thousands of National Guard troops have been deployed in Washington and streets have been blocked off downtown with concrete barriers.
The National Mall, which is normally packed with people every four years for presidential inaugurations, has been declared off-limits at the request of the Secret Service, which ensures the security of the president.