Beijing has already responded to President Trump's blacklisting of Huawei and dozens of its affiliates via Hu Xijin, one of its most closely watched English-language mouthpieces...
Most Chinese agree that the US is more powerful than China and Washington holds initiative in the trade war. But we just don't want to cave in and we believe there is no way the US can crush China. We are willing to bear some pain to give the US a lesson.— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) May 16, 2019
...and Huawei has also released a statement of its own, saying it is"ready and willing to work with the US government" to offer reassurances about safety and security.
But early Thursday, the Foreign Ministry, which along with the MOFCOM (the Ministry of Commerce), is perhaps the most closely watched by the West, issued the most strongly worded statement yet, blasting the White House's tactics as "disgraceful and unjust" and hinting that the Huawei ban could hurt the ongoing trade negotiations.
My friend from Huawei told me: 1,Huawei didn’t violate any regulations and the company can use legal means to defend itself. 2,They have long ago prepared for this day.The company has strengthened technology self-development&increased back-up supply chains. The US can’t beat them— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) May 16, 2019
Shortly after President Trump signed an executive order banning Huawei and other foreign telecoms companies from doing business with US companies, while the Department of Commerce said it planned to add Huawei to its "Entity List," which could stop US companies from dealing with Huawei. If applied, these restrictions could seriously impact the company's operations. When Washington slapped a "components ban" on another Chinese telecoms giant, ZTE, last year, the ban hammered the company's stock and provoked a short-lived selloff in Chinese financial markets.
Lu Kang, the foreign ministry spokesman, warned that Beijing would take all necessary measures to safeguard its rights and the interests of Chinese businesses - which sounds like a threat to us - before suggesting that the decision would make it harder for Beijing to trust Washington, which could redound upon trade negotiations.
"Negotiations and consultations, to have meaning, must be sincere."
"First, there must be mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. Second, one’s word must be kept, and not be capricious."
#China has accused @realDonaldTrump of engaging in industrial sabotage with "the use of national security as a pretext for the business activity of foreign companies". The US president issued an order which effectively blocked Huawei technology from being imported into the #USA.— Stephen McDonell (@StephenMcDonell) May 16, 2019
In what some'll see an understatement, For Ministry Spokesman Lu Kang, when referring to these moves by @realDonaldTrump to block Huawei tech entering the #USA, said "nobody has seen this as a constructive or friendly gesture". But hey he's accusing the US of industrial sabotage.— Stephen McDonell (@StephenMcDonell) May 16, 2019
BTW I wonder if it is just a coincidence on the day that @realDonaldTrump orders the blocking of Huawei equipment imports into the #USA that #China officially "arrests" (charges) #Canada's Kovrig and Spavor for "gathering state secrets and intelligence for foreign forces" etc?— Stephen McDonell (@StephenMcDonell) May 16, 2019
It would be difficult to understate the seriousness of Washington's latest actions against Huawei. Bloomberg called it "the nuclear option."
The takeaway should be clear: Over the past year, the US has orchestrated the arrest of one of Huawei's top executives (who also happens to be the daughter of the company's billionaire founder)and managed to convince at least some of its allies (New Zealand, Australia) to block the use of Huawei equipment in their 5G networks. But there's no question: Beijing sees this as an attack - industrial sabotage, as that BBC reporter called it. So whatever retaliation the Chinese are planning, it'll likely be more consequential than anything they've done in the past.