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China irate over US export sanctions against ZTE

The country's foreign ministry said sanctions could harm trade relations.

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The US government is slapping crippling sanctions on telecom manufacturer ZTE and the Chinese government is not happy about it. China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said that "China is opposed to the US citing domestic laws to place sanctions on Chinese enterprises," according to Reuters. "We hope the US stops this erroneous action and avoids damaging Sino-US trade cooperation and bilateral relations." The US announced the restrictions yesterday, saying the company planned to sell US-made equipment to Iran's largest telecommunications provider in 2012, in violation of US export restrictions to the nation.

With the sanctions, US firms that work with ZTE like Intel, Microsoft and Qualcomm will be forced to apply for export licenses to ship anything to the company. Such applications will "generally be denied," according to the US commerce department.

We hope the US stops this erroneous action and avoids damaging Sino-US trade cooperation and bilateral relations

ZTE says that it's "highly concerned" about the sanctions, and that it has cooperated with the US since reports of trade with Iran first surfaced in 2012. The company makes not only mobile handsets like the Axon targeted at US and European consumers, but is also a significant supplier of telecom equipment around the world. An analyst told Reuters that "we believe the restrictions, if implemented, will cause significant supply problems to ZTE."

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