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China opposes US’s 2020 defense bill for targeting Chinese firms

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng (photo by AFP)

China says it opposes the articles of the US defense draft bill for 2020 that target Chinese firms.

On Thursday, Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said Beijing opposed the anti-China articles of the so-called National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020.

He called on Washington to create favorable conditions for Chinese companies to operate in the American market, saying Beijing would closely monitor the situation and defend the interests of Chinese firms.

The 2020 NDAA requires US suppliers to obtain special licenses to continue selling products to Chinese firms.

The defense draft — approved in US Congress and sent to US President Donald Trump’s desk on Tuesday — includes several new measures requiring the administration to report on Chinese behavior and punish the Chinese government when it doesn’t fulfill certain commitments.

Among those measures is adding legislation that authorizes sanctions on Chinese companies that produce the drug fentanyl or its precursors, or that help export the items to the US.

Provisional trade deal

Feng also said that China and the US were still going through the necessary procedures for signing the first phase of a trade deal introduced earlier this month.

Under the deal, the US would reduce some tariffs on Chinese goods in exchange for a large increase in Chinese purchases of American farm products and other goods.

Trump initiated a trade war on China last year to restrain China’s growing economic power. Since then, the two sides have exchanged tariffs on more than 360 billion dollars’ worth of two-way trade.

The two sides have held talks to settle the issue. The first-phase trade deal is a step toward ending that dispute.

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