The United States government placed a dozen Chinese companies on its trade blacklist, citing national security and foreign policy concerns in certain cases, including their assistance in furthering China's quantum computing initiatives.
Several Chinese and Pakistani businesses and individuals have also been added to the Commerce Department's Entity List for their involvement in Pakistan's nuclear or ballistic missile programmes, according to the department.
As reported by South China Morning Post, the US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said: “Global trade and commerce should support peace, prosperity and good-paying jobs, not national security risks.”
According to the American Commerce Department, some of the companies on the blacklist have helped the Chinese military with “counter-stealth and counter-submarine applications, and the ability to break encryption or develop unbreakable encryption”.
Raimondo said: “The Department of Commerce is committed to effectively using export controls to protect our national security.”
The new move by the US against Chinese enterprises comes as tensions between Beijing and Washington over Taiwan's status and trade concerns continue to rise. Even recently American president Joe Biden had expressed public concern over Beijing's rapid military advances, particularly the summer test of a nuclear-capable Chinese hypersonic missile that is thought to be more hazardous than anything America has yet built.
The Biden administration, like the Trump administration before it, has attempted to prevent American corporations and investors from assisting China's military-industrial sector with money, resources, whether knowingly or unconsciously.
However, a total of 27 new entities from China, Japan, Pakistan, and Singapore have been added to the list—the majority of which are from China.
Hangzhou Zhongke Microelectronics Co Ltd, Hunan Goke Microelectronics, New H3C Semiconductor Technologies Co Ltd, Xi'an Aerospace Huaxun Technology and Yunchip Microelectronics were added to the Commerce Department's entity list for their "support of the military modernisation of the People's Liberation Army", said the American authorities.
It also listed Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale, QuantumCTek and Shanghai QuantumCTeck Co Ltd for "acquiring and attempting to acquire U.S.-origin items in support of military applications".
All mentioned companies were blacklisted to prevent American technology from being utilised to assist China in developing quantum computing applications for its military.
Suppliers to companies on the entity list will have to apply for a licence, which will almost certainly be denied.
Aside from Wednesday's (24 November) sanctions, Washington has taken steps to prevent US investors from purchasing shares in companies linked to China's defence industry, as well as adding a slew of other Chinese companies to a list of entities seen as engaging in human rights violations along with in connection to the national security threat.
It includes textile and surveillance enterprises operating in China's far-western Xinjiang province, where Chinese authorities reportedly have been pressurising Uyghur ethnic minority population to forced labour. Needless to say, Beijing denied any wrongdoing in Xinjiang.
The list also includes Chinese telecoms behemoths Huawei Technologies and several of its affiliates, which are seen as possible security concerns in the United States, while other companies are Corad Technology (Shenzhen) Ltd, Peaktek Company Ltd, Poly Asia Pacific Ltd (PAPL) and Shaanxi Zhi En Electromechanical Technology Co. Ltd.
A Reuters report stated that according to China's embassy in Washington, America adopts a broad definition of national security and exploits state power to prohibit and limit Chinese businesses in any way possible. Embassy spokesperson Liu Pengyu said: "China is firmly opposed to that."
He said the US should "follow the spirit" of last week's virtual meeting between Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping and meet China halfway rather than continuing down the “wrong path".
Separately, the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology was also added to the Commerce Department's list of military end-users, but the description provided no additional information other than the fact that it had manufactured military equipment.
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