The United States adds a dozen Chinese companies to its blacklist

(CNN) – The Joe Biden government is putting more pressure on Chinese companies that it claims could undermine US national security.

The US Commerce Department added a dozen Chinese companies to a trade blacklist on Wednesday, saying some of the companies have supported the modernization of China’s military.

US officials called the move part of an effort to prevent emerging US technologies from being used for quantum computing efforts that would support China’s military, such as “anti-stealth aircraft and anti-submarine technology applications.” .

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The Commerce Department also cited concerns about “China’s ability to break encryption or develop unbreakable encryption.” And he said several entities from China and Pakistan were added to the list for contributing to Pakistan’s nuclear activities or ballistic missile program.

Latent tensions between the United States and China

Tensions between the United States and China, which escalated under former President Donald Trump, have continued under President Joe Biden. And despite a recent first virtual summit with President Xi Jinping, and collaboration on the climate crisis and oil reserves, the Biden government has so far done little to ease pressure on Beijing.

In April, the Biden administration added seven Chinese companies with ties to the military to the list that restricts US companies from doing business with them. At the time, the Commerce Department said those companies operated in the field of supercomputing and have helped the Chinese government modernize its military or have worked on weapons of mass destruction programs.

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The impact of the United States blacklist

China’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday criticized the new sanctions, saying the country “will take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies.”

Spokesman Zhao Lijian accused the United States of having “repeatedly generalized national security” and of “abusing state power” to crack down on Chinese companies.

In all, 27 foreign entities and individuals were added to the US Department of Commerce’s commercial blacklist. Along with Chinese companies, other targets were based in Pakistan, Japan and Singapore.

“World trade must support peace, prosperity and high-paying jobs, not national security risks,” US Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo said in a statement.

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