Beijing on Thursday slammed the US clampdown on Chinese telecom giant Huawei as “dirty play” and took a shot at Washington’s own human rights record by pointing to racism in the United States.

The pushback from Beijing came a day after the US announced visa restrictions for Huawei employees and those of other Chinese firms if they were involved in human rights abuses.

Both superpowers have been crossing swords on a rising number of fronts, including Beijing’s policies on Hong Kong. But the Trump administration recently rejoiced in growing success at isolating Huawei — after Britain announced a ban on the firm.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that this meant Britain was joining the US and “many other democracies in becoming ‘clean countries'”, a comment that drew a fiery response from Beijing on Thursday.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying retorted that “what the US does has nothing to do with the word ‘clean'”.

“What it does is… dirty play,” she said at a regular briefing.


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