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U.S. blacklists a dozen more Chinese tech firms

US wants to prevent its technologies from being used to benefit China’s military.

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The Biden administration is putting more pressure on Chinese firms it believes are threatening US national security. The US Commerce Department put a dozen Chinese companies on a trade blacklist on Wednesday, claiming that some of the companies have backed China’s army development.

The measure is part of a US effort to prevent developing US technologies from being used for quantum computing activities that would benefit China’s military, such as “counter-stealth and counter-submarine applications,” according to US officials.

Concerns about China’s “ability to break encryption or develop unbreakable encryption” were also raised by the Commerce Department, which added several Chinese and Pakistani entities to the list for assisting Pakistan’s nuclear or ballistic missile programs. Tensions between the US and China escalated under former President Donald Trump and have continued to simmer under President Joe Biden. Despite a recent first virtual conference with President Xi Jinping, as well as coordination on the climate problem and oil reserves, his government has done little to relieve Beijing’s pressure.

The Biden administration added seven Chinese corporations with military ties to a list that prevents US companies from doing business with them in April. The Commerce Department said at the time that the companies worked in the field of supercomputing and had aided the Chinese government in modernizing its military or working on weapons of mass destruction programs.

Tensions between the US and China, which had risen under former President Donald Trump, have remained low under President Joe Biden. Despite a recent first virtual conference with President Xi Jinping, as well as coordination on the climate problem and oil reserves, his government has done little to relieve Beijing’s pressure.

The Biden administration added seven Chinese corporations with military ties to a list that prevents US companies from doing business with them in April. The Commerce Department said at the time that the companies worked in the field of supercomputing and had aided the Chinese government in modernizing its military or working on weapons of mass destruction programs.

China’s Foreign Ministry slammed the latest penalties on Thursday, vowing to “take all necessary steps to fiercely safeguard the lawful rights and interests of Chinese firms.”
Zhao Lijian, a Chinese government spokesman, accused the US of “repeatedly generalizing national security” and “abusing state power” to restrict Chinese businesses.

The US Commerce Department has added 27 foreign businesses and persons to its trade blacklist. Other targets were headquartered in Pakistan, Japan, and Singapore, in addition to the Chinese enterprises.
In a statement, US Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo said, “Global trade and commerce should foster peace, prosperity, and good-paying jobs, not national security risks.”

Photo credit: Aly Song | Reuters

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