China yesterday threw its weight behind Huawei's legal battle against the United States, saying the telecom giant will not be a "silent lamb to the slaughter" and vowing to defend the rights of Chinese companies.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi voiced Beijing's support as Huawei mounts a legal and public relations campaign to counter US warnings that the company's networks and equipment could serve as Trojan horses for Chinese intelligence services.
US prosecutors have also charged the company and its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, over allegations of violating Iran sanctions.
"It's quite obvious to any fair and unbiased person that the recent action against a particular company and Chinese individual is not just a pure judicial case but deliberate political suppression," Wang said at a news conference on the sidelines of China's annual parliament session.
"We have already and will continue to take all necessary steps, and resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies and citizens," Wang said, without explaining what kind of measures Beijing would take.
Huawei announced on Thursday that it had filed a lawsuit in the US state of Texas to seek the reversal of legislation that prevents American federal agencies from buying its equipment and services.
Wang said China supports the company's use of the "weapon of law to safeguard" its rights and not become a "silent lamb to the slaughter".
The US ambassador to Beijing said the move "sounds like retaliation".
Meng was arrested in Canada in December at the behest of the United States and this week a court set a May 8 date to start her extradition hearings.