Macron warns about US-China trade tensions over Huawei

French President Emmanuel Macron addresses the press in the courtyard of the Elysee presidential Palace after a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister in Paris on May 16, 2019. – (Photo by STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP)

PARIS, France (AFP) — French President Emmanuel Macron warned Thursday about the danger of a “technological war or a trade war” between the US and China as the countries clash over Chinese telecoms group Huawei.

“Our perspective is not to block Huawei or any company, it is to preserve our national security and European sovereignty,” Macron told reporters at the Vivatech trade show in Paris.

“But I think launching now a technological war or a trade war vis-a-vis any other country is not appropriate.

“First it is not the best way to defend your national security — we don’t need it — second, it is not the best way to develop your own ecosystem and have a world of cooperation and decrease tensions,” he added.

Trump stepped up Washington’s battle against Huawei on Wednesday, effectively barring the telecom titan from the US market and adding it to a list which would restrict US sales to the firm.

“We urge the US to stop its incorrect actions… to avoid doing additional harm to China-US economic and trade relations,” commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng said at a weekly press briefing on Thursday.

US officials have been trying to persuade allies not to allow China a role in building next-generation 5G mobile networks, saying the state-controlled firm poses a security risk.

© Agence France-Presse