US claims about national security risks from Chinese telcos are false, says China

Photo: The Diplomatist

Following the United States’ decision to halt China Telecom US operations, the Asian country said that US claims about risks to national security were completely false.

Notably, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had started the process of revoking China Telecom’s authorization to operate in the country.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai noted security agencies contend the company hasn’t complied with cybersecurity and privacy laws, adding there are “significant concerns” that China Telecom will be forced to comply with the Chinese government’s requests for information.

In April 2020, the FCC warned it might shut down the US operations of three state-owned Chinese telcos, citing national security risks.

Last year, the FCC denied another state-controlled China Mobile Ltd the right to provide services in the US.

On Thursday, the independent agency that regulates communications by radio, TV, satellite, and cable across the US, rejected Huawei’s petition asking the agency to reconsider its decision of designating the Chinese company as a national security threat to communications networks.

The FCC also finalized rules that require carriers with Huawei or ZTE equipment to “rip and replace” that equipment, apart from implementing the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019 and creating a reimbursement program to subsidize smaller carriers as well.