Washington, Dec 3 (efe-epa).- The United States has blacklisted four more Chinese companies, including its top chipmaker and an oil giant, allegedly controlled or owned by China’s military.
The newly banned firms are Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC), China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), China Construction Technology Co (CCTC), and China International Engineering Consulting Corporation (CIECC).
The inclusion of these companies takes to 35 the number of Chinese companies blacklisted by the Department of Defense in 2020 under the orders of outgoing President Donald Trump.
Other blacklisted firms include Huawei, Hikvision, and China Telecom.
The list mandated by a law passed in 1999 had remained empty until this year when the Trump administration banned the companies controlled or owned by the People’s Liberation Army.
From late next year, United States investors will be barred from buying securities of the firms that are part of the blacklist, which until now did not include in sanctions.
The executive order signed by Trump a month ago gives investors until November 2021 to dispose of securities of the blacklisted companies that they currently own.
“The president’s action serves to protect American investors from unintentionally providing capital that goes to enhancing the capabilities of the People’s Liberation Army and People’s Republic of China intelligence services,” National Security Advisor Robert C. O’Brien had said in a statement at the time.
O’Brien alleged that the Chinese military routinely targeted American citizens and businesses through cyber operations and directly threaten the critical infrastructure, economy, and the US military and its allies and partners around the world.
Relations between the US and China have deteriorated tremendously during the four-year tenure of Trump.
Bilateral ties are at one of their lowest points since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1979.
The tensions have led to the imposition of trade tariffs on each other.
China closed the US consulate in Chengdu city after Washington shut the Chinese embassy in Houston. EFE-EPA