The exchange, reported by Reuters, took place at the WTO in Geneva on Friday, with Beijing's representative to the organisation's Council on Trade in Goods saying steps taken by countries to restrict 5G technology had a big effect on international trade.
The Chinese representative also said that such measures would not help in better cyber security but would only serve to isolate countries technologically.
Australia banned the use of equipment from Huawei Technologies in its 5G networks last August, citing risks to national security.
Only Australia and New Zealand have fallen in line with Washington's dictates, but Wellington has indicated that the initial refusal for telco Spark to use Huawei gear is not the end of the matter. That stance was reiterated by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during a one-day China visit in April. Huawei sued the US on 7 March, seeking to be reinstated as a telco supplier in the country.
In its statement issued in August, Canberra made no mention of either Huawei, or another Chinese firm, ZTE Corporation, whose products were subject to a similar ban.
The Chinese diplomat at the WTO said Australia had not made official any reasons for the ban which seemed to have taken effect well before the law in question was promulgated on 18 September 2018.
“Country-specific and discriminatory restriction measures can not address the concerns on cyber security, nor make anyone safe, but only disrupt the global industrial chain, and make the country itself isolated from the application of better technology,” the Chinese representative told the meeting.
WTO rules prohibit any member country from discriminating against other members and preventing imports from any one country.
However, "national security" can be cited to obtain an exemption though this method of evading a rule was not practised as WTO officials feared it would become common practice.
A WTO ruling clarified that, apart from war and the arms business, national security meant “a situation of armed conflict, or of latent armed conflict, or of heightened tension or crisis, or of general instability engulfing or surrounding a state".