China brought up ZTE issue with US at various levels: WH

WASHINGTON, May 15: China has brought up the issue of its telecom equipment giant ZTE at various levels with the US, and President Donald Trump has asked Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to look into it, consistent with applicable laws and regulations, the White House said today.
“This is part of a very complex relationship between the US and China that involves economic issues, national security issues and the like. It’s an issue of high concern for China that’s been raised with the US government and with our administration at various levels,” White House Deputy Press Secretary told reporters at a news conference.
Shah was responding to questions on a tweet by Trump in which he had said that he was working with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to give China’s telecom giant ZTE a way to get back into business.
“The matter has been brought up at a number of levels, you know, as part of bilateral talks on a number of issues,” he said.
Shah, however, refrained it from linking the ZTE issue with the upcoming trade meetings between the US and Chinese officials.
“It’s part of again the US relationship with China, which is complex. It has economic factors, it has national security factors. This is just one of many factors, and again the President is asking the Secretary of Commerce to look into the matter consistent with laws and regulation,” he said.
The White House strongly refuted allegations that Trump was giving any kind of “concession” to the Chinese companies.
Responding to a question on “how does the President Trump’s statement that too many Chinese jobs are at risk square with his campaign promise that China is stealing American jobs?”
Shah replied, “I don’t think this has frankly any bearing on the President’s campaign promises…The President has overseen an economy in which we have the lowest unemployment rate since 2000. It’s at 3.9 per cent, over two million jobs have been created since this President took office,”
“With respect to trade with China, he’s been tough. Let’s put this into context. I mean this President has taken China to task for its unfair trade practices through this Section 301 investigation. He’s introduced and proposed or rather up to USD 150 billion of tariffs on China for intellectual property theft, dumping in a range of you know inimical Chinese economic action. So he’s been tough and he’s confronted them,”  he added. (PTI)


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