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May 15, 2018

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China and US move closer over ZTE

CHINA appreciates the United States position on the Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said yesterday.

US President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping are working together to give ZTE “a way to get back into business, fast,” and the US Commerce Department has been instructed to work on the issue.

In response, Lu said China is keeping in close contact with the US on details and issues that the American side is concerned about.

Earlier yesterday, Lu announced Xi’s special envoy, Vice Premier Liu He, will visit the US from today to Saturday for economic and trade consultations. Liu, also chief of the Chinese side of the China-US comprehensive economic dialogue, will visit at the invitation of the US administration.

He will continue to hold consultations with the US economic team headed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on economic and trade issues between the two countries, Lu said.

“China stands ready to work with the United States to promote positive and constructive results in the forthcoming consultations,” the spokesman added.

In his Twitter message with regard to ZTE, Trump said he has instructed the US Commerce Department “to get it done.”

ZTE, one of the world’s largest telecom equipment makers, was forced to suspend its main operations worldwide after the US Commerce Department prohibited American companies from exporting products to it in mid-April.

Following the exports ban, ZTE said it was making active communications with relevant parties to seek a solution to the issue, and stressed that it attached significant importance to export control compliance.

The Chinese public and government are concerned about the fate of the company, which hires some 70,000 people across the globe. The incident also triggered in China extensive discussions about the necessity and urgency to develop a reliable domestic chip industry.

The ZTE ban is also expected to cause sizable losses for the companies’ key American suppliers in both revenues and jobs.



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