17:18 GMT25 February 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) warned Monday the UK telecommunications sector against using Chinese state-owned Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment (ZTE) company’s equipment and services, citing security risks.

    "NCSC assess that the national security risks arising from the use of ZTE equipment or services within the context of the existing UK telecommunications infrastructure cannot be mitigated," NCSC Technical Director Ian Levy said as quoted in a press release.

    Moreover, Levy stated in a letter seen by the Financial Times that possible usage of ZTE equipment would result in substantial negative consequences for UK security.

    "[Use of ZTE services would have a] long term negative effect on the security of the UK … The UK telecommunications network already contains a significant amount of equipment supplied by Huawei, also a Chinese equipment manufacturer. Adding in new equipment and services from another Chinese supplier would render our existing mitigations ineffective," Levy said as quoted by FT.

    Earlier in the day, US Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said that the United States cut off exports from China’s Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation for the next seven years in response to violations of sanctions against North Korea and Iran.

    China then announced that it monitors the situation with the US ban on ZTE and is ready to take measures for the Chinese companies' protection.

    "The Chinese Ministry of Commerce will closely monitor the situation and will be ready to take the necessary steps for protection of rights and interests of the Chinese companies," the statement read.

    The ministry noted the company cooperated with over 100 companies in the United States and created thousands of jobs there. The ministry expressed hope that Washington would mitigate the problem in accordance with the regulations, according to the statement.

    ZTE agreed last year to pay $1.19 billion in penalties for illegally shipping telecommunications equipment to Iran and North Korea.


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    cybersecurity, ZTE, China, United Kingdom
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