A top Chinese official is defending Huawei, dismissing American concerns that the telecom giant might covertly collect data and report it to Beijing, and urging Europeans to ignore Washington.
Yang Jiechi's comments Saturday came after U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence labeled Huawei a ``threat'' to national security systems and urged allies to exclude them from developing 5G wireless infrastructure.
Yang told the Munich Security Conference Europeans ``know where their own interests lie, so let there be fewer lectures,'' accusing the U.S. of pushing its own self interests.
He says ``Chinese law does not require companies to install back doors or collect intelligence'' and said Huawei ``as a company is co-operating very closely with the European countries.''
He says ``the Europeans know very well what is the wise path for them to go forward.''
_ This item corrects Pence's title.
A senior Chinese official is signalling that Beijing isn't interested in joining an expanded version of the Cold War-era nuclear weapons treaty between the United States and Russia that Washington and Moscow have decided to abandon.
The U.S. announced this month that it was pulling out of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty because of Russian violations. Moscow followed suit, strongly denying any breaches. The U.S. administration also has worried that the pact was an obstacle to efforts to counter intermediate-range missiles deployed by China, which is not covered by the treaty.
Politburo member Yang Jiechi told the Munich Security Conference Saturday that the INF treaty should be preserved but ``China develops its capabilities strictly according to its defensive needs and doesn't pose a threat to anybody else. So we are opposed to the multilateralization of (the) INF.''
U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence is urging allies to take seriously ``the threat'' posed by Chinese telecom giant Huawei as they look for partners to build 5G wireless infrastructure.
Pence said Saturday the U.S. had been ``clear with our security partners on the threat posed by Huawei and other Chinese telecom companies.''
He told the Munich Security Conference they ``provide Beijing's vast security apparatus with access to any data that touches their network or equipment (and) we must protect our critical telecom infrastructure.''
He says ``America is calling on all our security partners to be vigilant and to reject any enterprise that would compromise the integrity of our communications technology or our national security systems.''
China rejects the U.S. position, saying Washington has provided no evidence Huawei threatens national security.
U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence is doubling down on his criticism of European nations working to preserve a nuclear deal with Iran, saying they should follow Washington's lead and withdraw from the agreement.
Speaking Saturday right after Chancellor Angela Merkel defended the 2015 Iran deal, Pence said ``the time has come for our European partners to stop undermining sanctions'' by continuing to offer economic incentives in exchange for Tehran limiting its nuclear capability.
He says Europe should withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal ``and join us as we bring the economic and diplomatic pressure necessary to give the Iranian people, the region and the world the peace, security and freedom they deserve.''
France, Germany and Britain, as well as the European Union, Russia and China, have been struggling to preserve the deal since the U.S. pulled out last year.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says U.S. authorities appear to have concluded that European cars are a threat to national security.
Merkel said at the Munich Security Conference that Germany is ``proud of our cars, and we're allowed to be,'' and many of them are built in the U.S.
The European Union and the U.S. have been trying to ratchet down trade tensions in recent months and Merkel says she has ``great hope'' in the negotiations. But she added: ``It is not entirely easy for me as German chancellor to read that apparently _ I don't have it in writing yet _ the American Commerce Department says German, European cars are a threat to national security.''
She noted that German automaker BMW's biggest plant is in South Carolina ``and if these cars ... are suddenly a threat to the United States' national security, that startles us.''
Chancellor Angela Merkel is defending the development of the joint German-Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline, dismissing American concerns it will weaken Europe's strategic position and assuring Ukraine it won't get cut off from Russian fuel.
Merkel on Saturday told Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at the Munich Security Conference his country would continue to be a transit country for Russian gas even after the Baltic pipeline is complete.
On security concerns, she says the question is ``how dependent are we on Russian gas, and that has nothing to do with the delivery.''
She says Europe also has enough terminals to receive more LNG fuel from the U.S., has its own natural gas and has other options, too.
She says ``there's nothing that speaks against getting gas from the United States, but to exclude Russia is the wrong strategic signal.''
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is defending European powers' decision to stand by the Iran nuclear deal, describing it as an ``anchor'' allowing the West to exert pressure.
U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence accused Germany, France and Britain of trying to ``break'' American sanctions on Iran and called on them to follow Washington in pulling out of the nuclear deal.
Merkel told the Munich Security Conference Saturday the split over Iran ``depresses me very much,'' but downplayed the substance of the differences.
She said: ``I see the ballistic missile program, I see Iran in Yemen and above all I see Iran in Syria.''
But ``the only question that stands between us on this issue is, do we help our common cause, our common aim of containing the damaging or difficult development of Iran, by withdrawing from the one remaining agreement? Or do we help it more by keeping the small anchor we have in order maybe to exert pressure in other areas?''
Egypt's president has called on Western countries to boost efforts at tackling extremist ideology in online media and mosques.
Speaking at the Munich Security Conference Saturday, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi says countries must ``tackle websites that are inciting hatred and spreading extremist and terrorist narratives among communities in the Islamic world and in the West.''
He also said authorities should ``be very mindful of what is being promoted at houses of worship,'' adding that extremists should not be allowed to preach. He underlined his efforts in Egypt to control the sermons in mosques.
Egypt has wide-ranging restrictions on free speech.
El-Sissi also mentioned that in the terrorism context, the failure to reach a fair and final settlement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict represents the main source of instability in the Middle East.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is calling on China to join international disarmament negotiations after the collapse of a Cold War-era treaty on nuclear weapons in Europe.
The U.S. earlier this month announced that it was pulling out of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, accusing Russia of violating it. Moscow followed suit, strongly denying any breaches. The U.S. administration also worried that the pact was an obstacle to efforts to counter intermediate-range missiles deployed by China.
Merkel told the Munich Security Conference Saturday that the U.S. withdrawal was ``inevitable'' because of Russian violations. But she noted the end of a treaty conceived ``essentially for Europe'' leaves Europe trying to secure future disarmament to protect its own interests.
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Trump Says Could Extend March 1 China Trade Talks Deadline US President Donald Trump said Tuesday he would consider extending the deadline for a trade deal with China beyond March 1.
"If we're close to a deal, where we think we can make a real deal... I could see myself letting that slide for a little while," Trump told reporters at the White House.
But he added: "Generally speaking I'm not inclined to do that."
The comments came as the third round of trade negotiations were set to resume in Beijing to avert more than doubling tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports.
"China wants to make a deal very badly," he said, and "things are going well" in the talks. And while no date has yet been agreed for a meeting with China's President Xi Jinping, he said he expects that to happen "at some point."
The high-stakes dispute has raised concerns it could spill over into the global economy after Trump last year hit China with 25 percent punitive tariffs on $50 billion in goods, and then imposed 10 percent duties on another $200 billion in annual imports.
The rate on all those imports are set to increase to 25 percent if no agreement is reached by March 1.
China's economy already has shown signs of slowing, while the trade war has shaken the confidence of US businesses, as retaliatory tariffs have raised prices and helped choke off a key export market.
And Trump's aggressive strategy has failed to produce a reduction in the US trade deficit with China, which he set as a primary goal.
He repeated the incorrect statement that China is paying the duties, which in fact are paid by US companies importing goods.
And economists say much of the intended effect of the duties in reducing imports, has been offset by the devaluation of China's currency, which makes goods cheaper for importers.