Chinese Media Attacks Steve Bannon over Huawei Ban, Brands Him an 'Economic Fascist'

China's state media has hit back at Steve Bannon—a former senior adviser to President Donald Trump—after he came out in support of his former boss's ban on communications company Huawei.

Branding him an "economic fascist," the state-backed newspaper Global Times suggested Bannon's support of the action, which blocks the company from doing business in the United States, was a sign of his obsessive fear of Chinese development.

An editorial in the newspaper, which often reflects the more aggressive sentiment of the ruling Communist Party—was a response to Bannon's recent interview with the South China Morning Post. Discussing U.S. competition with China, Bannon said the Huawei ban was "10 times more important than walking away from the trade deal."

The Global Times editorial said his intervention was "the most hysteric advocacy" from an "ultra right-wing opinion leader." It added, "Bannon is addicted to the rhetoric of general war on China. With China-U.S. relations heading downward, this radical figure makes himself heard by talking loud."

The editorial went on: "Bannon's extreme remarks can exert some impact on U.S. society and he is quite proud of being hawkish, which shows that the rational foundations of the country are being eroded. Extremism is rising."

The Global Times said Bannon's stance on Huawei was indicative of "a kind of economic fascism" emerging within a group in the U.S. who view Chinese growth as a fundamental threat to American interests. Such an outlook will "jeopardize peace in the 21st century," it warned.

The goal of this group is "the economic subjugation of China" and brings great joy to those on board with the "U.S. frenzy of suppressing China," the editorial added.

The Huawei issue is part of Trump's wider China strategy. The two nations are locked in an expanding trade war, which has rattled global financial markets and undermined international trade.

Earlier this month, Trump's latest tariff hike on Chinese goods took effect, hitting $200 billion worth of imports by increasing duties from 10 to 25 percent. The president has directed his team to begin the process of raising tariffs on essentially all remaining imports from China, valued at around $300 billion.

Bannon told the Post that Huawei "is a major national security threat, not just to the U.S. but to the rest of the world. We are going to shut it down." But the Global Times said such aggression might backfire.

The editorial suggested the "U.S. attitude toward China" could produce a "technology and economic cold war between the West and China" that would not "fit the interests of Western countries."

Indeed, forcing Beijing and Chinese companies onto the defensive may serve to boost indigenous technology, the piece claimed. "Hard-working companies with support from the government and the people will help China win the game against the U.S.," the editorial said.

"The huge Chinese market will provide the best conditions for high-tech innovation," it concluded. "Sometimes misfortune is a blessing in disguise."

Steve Bannon economic fascist China Huawei ban
In this file photo, Steve Bannon is pictured during a debate on March 25, 2019 in Rome, Italy. Stefano Montesi - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images