President Donald Trump declared a national emergency Wednesday barring US companies from using foreign telecoms equipment deemed a security risk -- a move that appeared aimed at Chinese giant Huawei.
The order signed by Trump prohibits purchase or use of equipment from companies that pose "an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States or the security and safety of United States persons."
"This administration will do what it takes to keep America safe and prosperous and to protect America from foreign adversaries," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.
A senior White House official insisted that no particular country or company was targeted in the "company- and country-agnostic" declaration.
However, the measure -- announced just as a US-China trade war deepens -- is widely seen as prompted by already deep concerns over an alleged spying threat from Huawei.
US officials have been trying to persuade allies not to allow China a role in building next-generation 5G mobile networks, warning that doing so would result in restrictions on sharing of information with the United States.
US government agencies are already banned from buying equipment from Huawei, a rapidly expanding leader in the 5G technology.
China's government is furious.
"For some time, the United States has abused its national power to deliberately discredit and suppress by any means specific Chinese enterprises, which is neither honorable nor fair," foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.
"We urge the US side to stop the unreasonable suppression of Chinese enterprises on the pretext of national security and to provide a fair and non-discriminatory environment," the spokesman said.
Earlier, David Wang, executive director of Huawei's board, shrugged off news of the upcoming emergency declaration.