The US Senate has passed a record defence bill that includes new restrictions on China but has been called a soft compromise by some on Capitol Hill, Reuters reports.
The bill, having cleared the two houses of Congress, will now pass to the president who must sign it into law.
Amendments were included in the bill to limit US government interactions with Chinese telecoms firms ZTE and Huawei, as well as expand the oversight capacity of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (Cfius).
However, there was no mention of the compromise deal reached last month between the White House and ZTE allowing the company to restart business with US partners, which lawmakers argued should be revoked in favour of a stricter approach.
“In my seven years in the Senate I have never voted against the National Defense Authorization Act until today,” said Florida senator and prominent China critic Marco Rubio. “The decision to cave and allow ZTE to stay in business in [the] US gives China an unacceptable ability to threaten our telecommunications network.”
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