China says it will take action against US delisting of telecom companies
SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China will take “necessary steps” to protect the interests of its companies after the New York Stock Exchange begins to delist three Chinese telecommunications companies that Washington says have military ties, the country’s Ministry of Commerce announced on Saturday.
The NYSE said on Thursday it would withdraw China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom following President Donald Trump’s decision in November to ban U.S. investments in 31 companies that Washington says are owned or controlled by the Chinese army.
“This kind of abuse of national security and state power to suppress Chinese companies does not conform to market rules and violates market logic,” China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement.
“This not only harms the legal rights of Chinese companies, but also the interests of investors in other countries, including the United States,” he added.
While the ministry said it would take action to protect its businesses, it also called on the United States to meet China halfway and get bilateral trade relations back on track.
In its final weeks before President-elect Joe Biden took office on January 20, the Trump administration stepped up its tough stance against China.
Relations between the two largest economies are increasingly strained amid a series of disputes over issues such as trade and human rights.
The US Department of Commerce added dozens of Chinese companies to a trade blacklist in December, accusing Beijing of using its companies to exploit civilian technology for military purposes.
Chinese diplomats have expressed hope that Biden’s election will help ease tensions between the two countries.
In comments published on Saturday, Chinese senior diplomat Wang Yi said relations with the United States had reached a “new crossroads” and “a new window of hope” could now open.
(Reporting by David Stanway, editing by William Maclean and Frances Kerry)