Chinese Ambassador to Germany Wu Ken called US allegations that China used Huawei equipment for espionage “groundless,” and said the US-led global crackdown on Huawei is politically-motivated.

Wu made the remarks in an interview with German Newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung on Sunday.

The Chinese diplomat said he believes that the allegations made by the US are motivated by competition, calling it “a bully against Chinese technology companies,” according to the Chinese Embassy website.

“Huawei is an independent private company. The US global crackdown on Huawei is politically-motivated. Huawei is already on par with US companies in technology, which is unacceptable to the US,” he said.

When the German newspaper said that Chinese companies “could be easily controlled by the government,” Wu compared the issue to Volkswagen and the German government. “Huawei’s relationship with the Chinese government is no closer than Volkswagen’s with the German government.

The German government owns 20 percent of Volkswagen, while the Chinese government has no stake in Huawei,” he said.

The ambassador also responded to false reports that connected China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to Chinese interests, and said BRI is not a geopolitical tool, but the biggest peace project.

Wu said that it has been only six years since China put forward the BRI and has been increasing investments in international markets, and that China should not be blamed for the debt problems of some countries. He mentioned the Philippines and Sri Lanka, saying that instead of leading these countries into “debt trap,” China is helping them out of the “backward trap.”

As for China’s use of surveillance cameras and facial recognition systems, Wu said safety and stability are always the top priority of the Chinese people because of the country’s cultural traditions. “Governing a country of nearly 1.4 billion people is a daunting task.”

Using Beijing as an example, Wu said there are 10 million people taking the subway every day, and that safety cannot be guaranteed without strict security checks and monitoring.