HONG KONG (Reuters) – The chairman of China’s Huawei Applied sciences Co Ltd [HWT.UL] has hit again at a number of U.S. lawmakers who claimed the agency’s analysis funding to over 50 American universities posed a “vital menace” to nationwide safety.

FILE PHOTO: The Huawei emblem is seen throughout the Cell World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Picture

Huawei is the world’s largest maker of telecommunication community gear and third-largest smartphone maker. It’s a non-public firm however has discovered itself battling perceptions of ties to the Chinese language authorities, which it has repeatedly denied.

Final week, U.S. congressmen Marco Rubio and Jim Banks wrote a bipartisan open letter about Huawei on behalf of 24 Democratic and Republican lawmakers to training secretary Betsy DeVos. Within the letter, they mentioned the Huawei Innovation Analysis Programme posed a “vital menace to nationwide safety” by permitting China to successfully raise analysis from america.

The lawmakers mentioned such packages had been a core a part of “China’s toolkit for overseas expertise acquisition”.

In response, Eric Xu, Huawei’s rotating chairman, known as Rubio and Banks “closed-minded and ill-informed”.

“Evidently their our bodies are within the info age however their minds are nonetheless within the agrarian age,” mentioned Xu, based on a transcript of Xu’s remarks made late on Wednesday on the sidelines of the Cell World Congress in Shanghai.

“Their habits reveals not simply an ignorance of how science and innovation works at present, but additionally their very own insecurity” within the U.S.’ competitiveness, he mentioned, within the transcript offered by Huawei.

The U.S. lawmakers, who didn’t name for an finish to such analysis funding, requested the training secretary to research how China makes an attempt to assemble expertise from U.S. campuses in order to guard the nation’s expertise benefit.

The letter represents the newest issue Huawei has confronted working in america. Final week, some Republican and Democratic U.S. lawmakers, together with Rubio, requested Alphabet Inc’s Google to rethink working with Huawei, which they described as a safety menace.

Earlier this 12 months, a take care of U.S. telecom agency AT&T Inc to promote its smartphones in america collapsed on the 11th hour resulting from safety issues.

The corporate has come underneath comparable scrutiny elsewhere. Earlier this month, Huawei Australia’s chairman, John Lord, penned a public letter refuting Australian claims that the agency posed a threat, as Australia is prone to ban Huawei from collaborating within the nation’s introduction of fifth-generation cell telecommunications resulting from safety fears.

On Wednesday, Lord mentioned banning Huawei can be “a terrific coverage failure” for Australia as accusations of Chinese language authorities interference had been groundless.

Reporting by Sijia Jiang; Writing by James Pomfret; Modifying by Christopher Cushing