News ID: 219848
Published: 0132 GMT August 14, 2018

China condemns new US defense act, to assess content

China condemns new US defense act, to assess content
US President Donald Trump holds up the National Defense Authorization Act after signing it in front of soldiers from the US Army's 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York, US, on August 13, 2018.

China on Tuesday condemned measures targeting it in a new US defense act, saying it exaggerated antagonism and that Beijing would take a close look at aspects that beef up the role of a US panel that reviews foreign investment proposals.

China’s complaints about the act come as the world’s two biggest economies engage in an increasingly bitter fight over trade, levying tariffs on each others’ products, Reuters reported.

US President Donald Trump signed a $716-billion defense policy act on Monday that authorizes military spending and waters down controls on US government contracts with China’s ZTE Corp and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.

The National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, strengthens the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which reviews proposals to determine if they threaten national security. That measure was seen as targeting China.

China’s Commerce Ministry said it had noted the inclusion of CFIUS in the act and would “comprehensively assess the contents”, paying close attention to the impact on Chinese firms.

“The US side should objectively and fairly treat Chinese investors, and avoid CFIUS becoming an obstacle to investment cooperation between Chinese and US firms,” the ministry said in a statement.

Chinese and US companies seek greater cooperation on investment, it added, urging the two countries’ governments to heed the voices of their companies, and provide a good environment and stable expectations.

Monday’s legislation also calls “long-term strategic competition with China” a top priority for the United States, which should improve the defense capabilities of Taiwan, which Beijing considers to be a renegade province to be reunified with the mainland.

In a separate statement, China’s Foreign Ministry said the US passed the act despite China’s strong objections and it was dissatisfied with the “negative content related to China”.

China urges the US to abandon Cold War thinking and correctly and objectively view relations, and not implement the act’s negative clauses about China, so as to avoid harming cooperation, the ministry added.

China’s Defense Ministry also weighed in, saying the act “exaggerated Sino-US antagonism”, damaged trust between the two militaries and involved the most important and sensitive issue in bilateral ties, namely Taiwan.

“We will never let any person, at any time or in any form split Taiwan off from China,” it added.

In Taipei, Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry thanked the US for its consistent support.

The US has no formal ties with Taiwan but is the island’s strongest ally and sole foreign arms supplier.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen is visiting the United States this month, stopping off first in Los Angeles and then in Houston on her way to and from Paraguay and Belize.

China has complained to Washington about the visits.

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