Donald Trump

Beijing: The US administration has recommended that state-owned China Mobile, the world’s biggest cell phone carrier, be denied a licence to operate in the US, prompting Beijing to warn Washington to shun “Cold war mentality”.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which is a part of the US Department of Commerce, cited national security risks in a statement sent on Monday to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), an independent agency that will take the final decision, with its recommendations, Efe reported on Tuesday.

“After significant engagement with China Mobile, concerns about increased risks to US law enforcement and national security interests were unable to be resolved,” said David Redl, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information at the US Department of Commerce.

In response to the US move, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said: “We urge the relevant party in the US to abandon the Cold war mentality and zero-sum game. They should view the relevant issue in a correct way and they should not speculate and repress the Chinese enterprises in this way.

“Instead, they should offer an equal favourable environment for Chinese enterprises. They should do more to promote mutual trust and cooperation. This is in the common interest of the two sides,” he was quoted as saying by Efe news.

Lu encouraged Chinese firms to invest in the US in accordance with Chinese principles and international rules while observing local laws and regulations.

China Mobile submitted an application for a licence to the FCC in 2011 and has close to 900 million subscribers.

The NTIA’s decision came amid escalated tensions between Washington and Beijing with only three days remaining for the first wave of tariffs by the US on Chinese imports worth $34 billion to come into effect.

The Chinese spokesperson said that Beijing was well prepared to take the necessary measures if the tariffs came into force.