The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has said that it will take “all necessary measures” following last week’s decision by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) [2] to delist [3] three Chinese telecommunications (telecoms) firms. The move by the NYSE follows the decision of Republican US President Donald Trump in November 2020 to bar investment in 31 Chinese firms that, Mr Trump alleged, were owned and controlled by the Chinese military.

Shares in the three Chinese firms – China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom Hong Kong – will be suspended on the NYSE next week and proceedings to delist them have already commenced. The three firms earn all of their revenue in China and have no ‘significant presence’ in the United States, according to a BBC report [1], which goes on to say that the three companies ‘dominate the telecoms industry in China’.

A statement has recently been released by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, in which the ministry said:

“This kind of abuse of national security and state power to suppress Chinese firms does not comply with market rules and violates market logic… It not only harms the legal rights of Chinese companies but also damages the interests of investors in other countries, including the United States.”

Relations between the United States and China have been becoming increasingly strained during Mr Trump’s presidency. Issues which have added to this strain – at least on the part of President Trump – have included trade and the human rights situation in China. The world’s two largest economic superpowers have been locked in a trade war for some time, with multiple sanctions being imposed by each side. [4]

China seems to be looking forward to the transition of the US presidency to Democrat Joe Biden on the 20th January 2021. A senior Chinese diplomat, Wang Yi, said that relations between the United States and China had “reached a new crossroads” but that a “new window of hope” could be opened. It is unclear at this moment what the Chinese Ministry of Commerce means by ‘all necessary measures’.


[2] The New York Stock Exchange is the world’s largest stock exchange, based in the financial district of Lower Manhatten, New York. It is also known as “The Big Board”. Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and derivatives all trade on the Big Board.

[3] Stocks and shares of public companies are ‘listed’ on a stock exchange. ‘Delisting’ is the removal of a public company’s shares from a stock exchange.

[4] An interesting, authentic English article on the US-China trade war, and its impact on global economies, can be found here:


Find a word or phrase in the text above which means:

1. to prevent

2. ‘Pieces’ of a company that you can own and which (if the company is a public company) is traded on a stock exchange.

3. Income, especially that of a company

4. To forcibly end or prevent something

5. To be in a state of pressure or disharmony with something or someone

6. Official orders (for example, by a government) which stops something from happening, such as trade.


Complete the following five sentences using one of the words from Exercise 1. [Remember, one of the words will not be needed].

1. The amount of income that a company receives for its goods is called its ………………………………….

2. Relations between the United States and China have been ………………………. for some time, because of political and other differences.

3. I am considering investing some money by buying some …………………… in a publicly listed company on the stock exchange.

4. The United States has imposed economic ……………………………… on Syria, because of its alleged attacks on its own people.

5. In 1956, the Soviet Union invaded Hungary, in order to ……………………… the Hungarian uprising.



1. to bar


3. revenue

4. to suppress

5. strained

6. sanctions


1. revenue

2. strained


4. sanctions (sanctions are ‘imposed’ – to impose a sanction)

5. suppress

© Cambridge Legal English Academy 2021

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