China today asked the United States to stop the “irrational repression” of Chinese companies, after US President Donald Trump signed a decree banning investments in 31 Asian firms.
Trump’s move prevents U.S. companies or citizens from buying shares, directly or through investment funds, in companies identified by the U.S. as collaborating with the People’s Liberation Army, the Chinese armed forces.
Telecommunications companies China Telecom and China Mobile are on the list.
“To label these companies as being under the control of the military is to ignore facts. There is no legal basis or principle. China is strongly opposed. We urge the US to stop irrational crackdown on affected companies and provide a fair and non-discriminatory business environment, ”said a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce in a statement.
According to the statement, the “US usually uses the pretext of national security to veto Chinese companies” or prevent US investors from entering the Chinese market, which qualifies as a “serious violation” of market competition principles that USA “always defended”.
The spokesman added that “Chinese companies operate in other countries in accordance with relevant laws and regulations” and that Washington’s actions “will not be able to suppress market forces”.
The U.S. ban will go into effect on January 11, announced Robert O’Brien, White House National Security Advisor, last week.
Relations between China and the United States have deteriorated rapidly since Donald Trump took office. The two countries face a commercial and technological war and disputes over the sovereignty of the South China Sea, the question of Taiwan or the status of Hong Kong.
Trump called China a threat to U.S. security and imposed restrictions on technology exports to the Asian country.
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