US lawmakers have introduced a bipartisan bill to sanction Chinese tech company Huawei Technologies and Chinese 5G companies, restricting them from accessing American banks.
The bill, introduced by Republican senator Tom Cotton and backed by lawmakers such as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, seeks to "severely sanction" Huawei, and other "untrustworthy" Chinese 5G producers who they say engage in economic espionage against the US.
The bill will add these entities to the Treasury Department's Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List, effectively freezing out of the US financial system.
Huawei did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment.
China's Foreign Ministry said "China firmly opposes the U.S.'s generalisation of the concept of national security, (and its) abuse of state power to suppress Chinese enterprises".
Wang Wenbin, China's foreign ministry spokesperson, told at a regular press briefing that China would "firmly safeguard" the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies after American lawmakers introduced the bipartisan bill.
"We've made great strides in recent years at home and abroad in combating Huawei's malign attempts to dominate 5G and steal Americans' data," Cotton said in a statement on Tuesday.
"We cannot allow Huawei and the Chinese Communist Party to have access to Americans' personal data and our country's most sensitive defense systems," he added.
Last month, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission adopted rules banning new telecommunications equipment from Huawei.