Australia’s decision to join the U.S. and ban Huawei from any participation in a national 5G network remains a “sore point or thorny issue” between the two countries, the Chinese ambassador alleged Monday, adding “discrimination against a Chinese company” lies at the core of the dispute.

Cheng Jingye dismissed concerns Huawei may pose a threat to Australia’s national security given its known links to the Communist Chinese government, and said Australia’s ban was “politically motivated.”

The telecommunications giant was banned in August 2018 from joining Australia’s 5G rollout due to security concerns. The then Turnbull conservative coalition government chose to follow the U.S. lead and say “no” to Huwai.

The U.S. has since been pressing nationsto deny Huawei access to 5G networks and alleged the company’s equipment could be used by Beijing for spying, which the Chinese firm has repeatedly denied.

In May, U.S President Donald Trump signed an executive order barring U.S. companies from using telecommunications equipment made by companies posing a national security risk, as Breitbart News reported.

The Trump administration also added Huawei to its trade blacklist, citing national security concerns.

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