China to beef up tech systems to protect against national security threats

China plans to create a new system to reduce threats to national security related to technology, according to the official Xinhua News Agency, as trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies escalate.

The National Development and Reform Commission has been tasked with setting up the list system which aims to “more effectively forestall and defuse national security risks,” Xinhua reported on Saturday. Details on the measures will be provided in the near future, according to the news agency.

The development comes after the U.S. government moved to curb Huawei Technologies Co.’s ability to sell equipment in the U.S. and buy parts from suppliers there, potentially crippling one of China’s most successful global companies. That step has helped broaden the tariff war into a wider confrontation between China and the U.S., at a time when negotiations between the two sides have broken down.

“Based on what I know, China is building a management mechanism to protect China’s key technologies,” Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of the Global Times, a tabloid published by the Communist Party’s People’s Daily said in a tweet earlier on Saturday, without saying how he got the information. “This is a major step to improve its system, and also a move to counter the U.S. crackdown. Once it takes effect, some technology exports to the U.S. will be subject to the control.”

Hu regularly tweets on China’s international affairs, often citing authoritative sources without identifying them. While the Global Times doesn’t necessarily reflect the view of Chinese leaders, Hu has said the paper voices opinions that official sources can’t.

China said last week it would establish a list of so-called “unreliable” entities it says damage the interests of domestic companies, a sweeping order that could potentially affect thousands of foreign firms.

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China to beef up tech systems to protect against national security threats