The US Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security have jointly called on the country’s telecoms regulator to revoke China Telecom’s license to provide services in the US.
In total, six government bodies called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to effectively ban China Telecom from providing telecoms services in the country or from handling traffic that originates or terminates in the US.
"Today, more than ever, the life of the nation and its people runs on our telecommunications networks," said John C. Demers, assistant attorney general for National Security, in a statement to the press.
"The security of our government and professional communications, as well as of our most private data, depends on our use of trusted partners from nations that share our values and our aspirations for humanity. Today's action is but our next step in ensuring the integrity of America's telecommunications systems," he added.
The US government bodies told news agency Reuters that China Telecom presented a “substantial and unacceptable national security and law enforcement risks associated.”
China Telecom strenuously rejected the allegations.
“We urge the United States to respect market economy principles, to cease its mistaken practices of generalising national security and politicising economic issues, and to cease unjustifiable oppression of Chinese companies,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian, said.