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China denounces U.S. 'rumors' and 'lies' about Huawei ties to Beijing

By Michael Martina

BEIJING (Reuters) - China on Friday denounced U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for fabricating rumors after he said the chief executive of China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd was lying about his company's ties to the Beijing government.

The United States placed Huawei on a trade blacklist last week, effectively banning U.S. firms from doing business with the world's largest telecom network gear maker and escalating a trade battle between the world's two biggest economies.

Huawei has repeatedly denied it is controlled by the Chinese government, military or intelligence services.

Pompeo, speaking on Thursday, also dismissed Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei's assertions that his company would never share user secrets, and said he believed more American companies would cut ties with the tech giant.

"Recently, some U.S. politicians have continually fabricated rumors about Huawei but have never produced the clear evidence that countries have requested," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said, when asked about Pompeo's remarks.

The United States has been rallying its allies to persuade them not to use Huawei for their 5G networks, citing security concerns.

Lu said the U.S. government was provoking suspicion in the U.S. public to confuse and instigate opposition.

"Domestically in the United States there are more and more doubts about the trade war the U.S. side has provoked with China, the market turmoil cause by the technology war and blocked industrial cooperation," he added.

U.S. politicians continue to "fabricate lies to try to mislead the American people, and now they are trying to incite ideological opposition".

U.S. President Donald Trump also said on Thursday that U.S. complaints against Huawei might be resolved within the framework of a U.S.-China trade deal, while at the same time calling the Chinese telecommunications giant "very dangerous".

Lu said he didn't know what Trump was talking about.

"Frankly, I'm actually not sure what the specific meaning of the U.S. leader, the U.S. side, saying this is," he said, adding that if reporters were interested they should ask the United States to clarify.

Lu reiterated that the United States should stop using its national power to suppress and smear other countries' companies, adding that China wanted to resolve differences between the two countries through friendly dialogue and consultation.

Taking another pot shot at Trump, Lu said there was "deep sympathy" in China for U.S. farmers who have been hit by the trade war, saying the two countries had for many years had "friendly, mutually beneficial cooperation" in agriculture.

"Chinese colleagues also deeply sympathize with the problems countered today by farmers in the U.S. agriculture and animal husbandry industry," he said.

Trump said on Monday that his administration was planning to provide about $15 billion in aid to help U.S. farmers.

American farmers, a key Trump constituency, have been among the hardest hit in the trade war. Soybeans are the most valuable U.S. farm export, and shipments to China dropped to a 16-year low in 2018.


(Reporting by Michael Martina; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Nick Macfie)