BEIJING: China plans to establish a system to ensure "national security" in technology, state media reported Saturday amid an expanding trade war with the United States which has snared Chinese tech titan Huawei. The powerful National Development and Reform Commission has been tasked with establishing a list system to "more effectively forestall and defuse national security risks," the Xinhua news agency said.

Xinhua did not elaborate or state whether the move was linked to the trade war but said "detailed measures will be unveiled in the near future". Washington and Beijing resumed their trade battle last month when trade talks in the US ended without a deal and US President Donald Trump raised tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, which Beijing retaliated to with its own tariff hike on billions worth US goods.

The trade war has stepped up in recent weeks with Washington's move to blacklist Huawei over national security concerns, threatening the firm's global ambitions. The US Commerce Department placed Huawei on an "entity list" on grounds of national security on May 16, a move that curbs its access to US-made components it needs for its equipment. A 90-day reprieve was later issued.

"Based on what I know, China is building a management mechanism to protect China's key technologies," Hu Xijin, the influential editor of the Chinese daily Global Times, said Saturday on Twitter. "This is a major step to improve its system, and also a move to counter US crackdown. Once taking effect, some technology exports to the US will be subject to the control," Hu said.

China accuses Trump of wanting to thwart Huawei's development because the company is the world leader in next-generation 5G mobile technology and faces no US competition. Following Washington's move, Beijing on Thursday said it would draw up its own blacklist of "unreliable" foreign companies, which could target US and international firms that have cut off supplies to Huawei. - AFP