As Huawei gears up for what looks to be a protracted legal battle with the US government (a battle where the odds are stacked against it, as CNBC's Jim Cramer pointed out yesterday), Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who is Beijing's top diplomat, became the most senior government official to weigh in on the lawsuit when he responded to questions from journalists during a press scrum on the sidelines of China's National Party Congress on Friday.
Reiterating Beijing's line that the US's actions against Huawei and CFO Meng Wanzhou are tantamount to "deliberate political suppression", Wang went on to characterize Huawei's lawsuit as an act of social justice, encouraging the company to "take up legal weapons to safeguard their rights & interests and not be silent lambs," per CNN.
Hinting that Beijing sees the US's struggle against Huawei through the lens of a broader conflict, Wang said "we must protect not only a company's rights and interests, but a country and a nation's legitimate rights of development."
In the past few months, Washington has embarked on a prolonged campaign to encourage US allies to block Huawei from providing technology for their 5G network infrastructure (a campaign that has met with mixed success), while the DOJ has filed two indictments against the company accusing it (and Meng) of violating US sanctions and stealing US intellectual property from T-Mobile.
Huawei responded by filing the lawsuit in a Texas district court earlier this week. The suit claims that by passing a law to exclude government agencies and government contractors from using Huawei products, Congress passed an unconstitutional "bill of attainder" - serving as "judge, jury and executioner" and depriving Huawei of income and causing reputational damage to the company without offering it any legal recourse.
Russia's Kaspersky labs made a similar argument in a lawsuit filed last year where it tried to get around an order prohibiting federal agencies from using its software (which the US government had said could be used by the Russian government for espionage-related purposes).
Most legal experts believe Huawei's case will end in a similar result. But in the meantime, it might give the company a platform to expose US hypocrisy while helping the company undermine the US's "national security" concerns.