Flags of U.S. and China are displayed at American International Chamber of Commerce (AICC)’s booth during China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing, China, May 28, 2019.
Jason Lee | Reuters
China vowed on Saturday to respond to the delisting of three telecommunications giants by the New York Stock Exchange under an executive order signed by President Donald Trump in November.
The ministry of commerce said in a statement that China will “take necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises,” according to the state-run Global Times.
The NYSE said on Thursday that it will delist China Telecom Corp. Limited, China Mobile Limited, and China Unicom Hong Kong Limited. Trump signed an order in November that barred Americans from investing in companies it alleged were connected to the Chinese military.
The investment ban will take effect on Jan. 11, just days before President-elect Joe Biden is due to be inaugurated. According to NYSE, trading in the three companies will be suspended possibly as soon as Jan. 7 or as late as Jan. 11.
The commerce ministry said that the U.S. was “abusing national security and using state power to crack down on Chinese enterprises” and said the move was “not in line with market rules and logic, which harms not only the legitimate rights of Chinese enterprises, but also the interests of investors in other countries, including the US.”
It added, “We hope that the US and China will work together to create a fair, stable and predictable business environment for enterprises and investors, so as to get bilateral economic and trade relations back on track.”
Trump has pursued an aggressive economic agenda against China that has become even more restrictive since the emergence of Covid-19, which Trump has derogatively labeled the “China virus,” in Wuhan.
Biden is not expected to dramatically alter the U.S.-China relationship, and said on Monday that he would “hold China’s government accountable for its abuses on trade, technology, human rights, and other fronts.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on China’s statement on Saturday. The Biden transition team also did not respond to a request for comment.
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