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Trump defends his decision to help Chinese telecom giant ZTE

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

today defended his decision to offer an olive branch to Chinese ZTE, which his administration had previously banned from purchasing US components or acquiring American companies.

Following series of complaints from China, has asked his to look into the issue. The move was criticised by anti-hardliners in the US, saying the is getting soft on in the middle of trade negotiations.

"ZTE, the large Chinese phone company, buys a big percentage of individual parts from US companies. This is also reflective of the larger trade deal we are negotiating with and my personal relationship with Xi," said in a tweet.

told reporters that Trump has asked Ross to look into the issue, consistent with applicable laws and regulations.

"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 and with our administration at various levels," he told reporters at a conference.

Shah was responding to questions on a tweet by Trump in which he had said that he was working with his Chinese counterpart Jinping to give China's a way to get back into

"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 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 to look into the matter consistent with laws and regulation," he said.

The 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.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 15 2018. 06:30 IST
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