US criticism of ZTE project ‘very absurd’: Chinese Foreign Ministry

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/7/8 23:03:04 Last Updated: 2019/7/9 11:40:53

Visitors in front of a ZTE booth in an industry show in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province in December 2018. Photo: VCG

China dubbed US criticism of a project by Chinese telecommunications company ZTE in Argentina irrational and absurd on Monday, saying the monitoring device deal should not be politicized for ulterior motives.

"US words and deeds are totally irrational and irresponsible," said Geng Shuang, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson at a Monday press conference, commenting on Washington's "concern" that China was "exploiting on data collected by surveillance systems" to other countries.

To use modern technology to improve social governance was the prevailing international practice, Geng said. The US uses video surveillance systems and so could Argentina. It should not be politicized by the US with ulterior motives, he said.

Chinese companies cooperate with countries like Argentina to help them improve public security and urban management and such moves are welcomed and recognized by local society, Geng said.

In March, ZTE signed a nearly $30 million contract with Jujuy, a northern province in Argentina, which has crime rates slightly above the national average. The deal was little reported, but caused "concerns" in Washington.

The US warnings for such a low-profile project show its relentless throwing of mud at Chinese technologies amid the China-US tech race, Bai Ming, deputy director of the Ministry of Commerce's international market research institute, told the Global Times on Monday.

The US was not competing in a fair way, he said. It was accusing China of using security technologies worldwide for political reasons without any proof or support.

China always asks Chinese companies to comply with local legislation and regulations. The US has been alleging that Chinese technologies and devices threaten Latin-American countries' national security, but has never provided any convincing proof. Their words based on mere assumptions are "very absurd," Geng said.

For a while, US politicians have been "recklessly calumniating and deliberately sabotaging" the relationship between China and Latin-American countries, Geng said. 

Global Times

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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