Beijing and Washington traded barbs over Huawei Technologies and the South China Sea at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, as both sides also sought to sell their vision for regional security. In a speech lasting almost 30 minutes, US Vice-President Mike Pence urged political leaders at the conference to reject the Chinese telecoms giant. The US has been “very clear with our security partners on the threats posed by Huawei and other Chinese telecom companies”, Pence said. “Chinese law requires them to provide Beijing’s vast security apparatus with access to any data that touches their networks or equipment,” he said, adding America’s allies must protect critical telecoms infrastructure. Speaking immediately after Pence, Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi said China rejected “technological hegemony”. “We need to follow the new approach of win-win and all-win cooperation and abandon ideological prejudices and the outdated mentality of a zero-sum game, and a winner takes all,” Yang said. In a question-and-answer session following his speech, Yang added that Huawei was cooperating closely with European countries on the fourth industrial revolution. “Chinese law does not require companies to install a back door or collect intelligence,” he said. Total ban on China’s Huawei may be a mistake and it’s ‘more complicated than in or out’, Britain’s MI6 chief Alex Younger suggests The Five Eyes intelligence alliance – the US, Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand – as well as Japan have blocked or are planning to ban Huawei from taking part in building their 5G mobile network infrastructure, adding to pressure on the Chinese company. Other countries, such as Germany, are consulting telecoms operators before deciding whether to exclude the firm. Relations between Washington and Beijing have been further strained since Huawei executive Sabrina Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver in December at the request of the US. Meng faces possible extradition to the United States over alleged violations of US sanctions against Iran. The exchanges at the Munich conference came a day after senior officials from the two sides wrapped up the latest round of trade talks in Beijing. US President Donald Trump said the talks were going “extremely well”, and officials would meet again in Washington next week. The two sides are trying to reach a deal before a 90-day truce in the tariff war ends on March 1. US President Donald Trump is light on specifics but says trade talks with China are ‘going extremely well’ Pence said the negotiations were “not simply about the trade imbalance”. “China must address the long-standing issues of intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer and other structural issues in China that have placed a burden on our economy and on other economies around the world,” he said, adding new trade relations were needed that were “free, fair and reciprocal”. Yang told the conference Beijing wanted to strengthen cooperation with Washington, but he also made a veiled criticism of US protectionism and expressed dismay over its freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea. “History tells us that we can only realise our people’s dreams for better lives by upholding multilateralism and enhancing global cooperation … respond to the call of the people and make the right choices,” Yang said. US steps up freedom of navigation patrols in South China Sea to counter Beijing’s ambitions He called for the two sides to choose dialogue over conflict and said multilateralism was needed now more than ever. “China is resolute in defending its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests. We firmly oppose any activity that undermines China’s sovereignty and security interests under the pretext of freedom of navigation,” he added. Last month, Admiral John Richardson, chief of US naval operations, said Washington had not ruled out sending an aircraft carrier through the Taiwan Strait, despite military technology advances by China that posed a greater threat to its warships than ever before. Pence also promoted Washington’s Indo-Pacific strategy, which is backed by Australia and Japan, while Yang said Beijing’s “Belt and Road Initiative” would bring common prosperity to the world.