The US is using a double standard in claiming Chinese law requires telecoms giant Huawei to violate other countries' information security, a Chinese government spokesman said Monday.
Some US officials were taking China's national security law out of context and "playing up the so-called security risks" associated with Chinese companies, the spokesman for the national legislature, Zhang Yesui, told reporters.
Zhang said the 2017 law borrows from other countries' experiences and is designed explicitly to "protect human rights and the lawful rights of individuals and organizations."
"This kind of behaviour is interference into economic activities by political means and is against World Trade Organization rules. It disrupts international market order that is built on fair competition," Zhang said at a briefing ahead of the opening of the annual session of the National People's Congress, China's rubber-stamp parliament.
"This is a typical case of double standards that is neither fair nor ethical," Zhang said.
The US has been lobbying its allies to shun Huawei's products on national security grounds, saying Chinese law requires the company to provide it with intelligence on its foreign clients whenever requested.
Washington's accusations have been underscored by Canada's December 1 arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at the request of the US. The US is seeking her extradition to face charges she misled banks about the company's business with Iran.
Lawyers for Meng, the daughter of Huawei's founder, said Sunday she is suing the Canadian government, its border agency and the national police force, saying they detained, searched and interrogated her before telling her she was under arrest.
The suit alleges that instead of immediately arresting her, authorities interrogated Meng "under the guise of a routine customs" examination and used the opportunity to "compel her to provide evidence and information."
Meng is out on bail and living at a residence she owns in Vancouver. She is due in court Wednesday to set a date for the extradition proceedings to start. It could be several months or even years before her case is resolved.
Meng's arrest set off a diplomatic furore and severely strained Canadian relations with China. Beijing has accused Washington of a politically motivated attempt to hurt the company.
China detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor on December 10 in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng.
A Chinese court also sentenced a Canadian to death in a sudden retrial, overturning a 15-year prison term handed down earlier. Kovrig and Spavor haven't had access to a lawyer or to their families since being arrested.