October 31, 2019 / 7:55 AM / 13 days ago

China says hopes U.S. will 'stop abusing concept of national security' after reports of grounded drones

A Chinese flag flutters at the Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China October 25, 2019. REUTERS/Florence Lo

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s foreign ministry said on Thursday after reports that the United States Department of the Interior had grounded its fleet of Chinese-made drones that it hoped Washington would “stop abusing the concept of national security” and provide a non-discriminatory atmosphere for Chinese companies.

Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang made the comments at a daily news briefing after reports that the U.S. Department of Interior had grounded all Chinese-made or part-made drones as part of a review of its entire drone program.

On Thursday leading Chinese drone maker DJI said it was aware of the reports but could not confirm them.

(The story corrects after DJI says it is aware of reports of grounding of Chinese-made or part-made drones, not that it has confirmed with U.S. authorities the grounding of them.)

Reporting by Cate Cadell; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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