Saturday, May 25, 2024

US imposes trade curbs on Chinese firms over balloon incident

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WASHINGTON — The United States added 37 Chinese entities to a trade blacklist Thursday, including some companies accused of supporting a suspected spy balloon that flew over US soil last year.

The Commerce Department said it also aimed at those that sought to acquire US goods to advance China’s quantum technology capabilities.

“These activities have substantial military applications and pose a significant threat to US national security,” said the Commerce Department in a statement.

READ: US revokes some licenses for exports to China’s Huawei

Companies added to the so-called “entity list” are restricted from obtaining US items and technologies without government authorization.

The latest additions over China’s “high altitude balloon program” come after the Commerce Department added six Chinese entities to the trade restriction list in February 2023 over the balloon incident.

READ: US assessing expansion of chip export controls that can boost China’s military

The balloon’s days-long flyover from Alaska to South Carolina captured the attention of many Americans before the US military shot it down off the country’s east coast.

On Thursday, the Commerce Department added that certain targeted entities this time were linked to advancements in China’s nuclear programs as well, or were “involved in the shipment of controlled items to Russia” after Moscow invaded Ukraine in 2022.

The latest update to the entity list marks a key step in addressing the challenges posed by China, said Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security Alan Estevez.

“We must remain vigilant in our efforts to prevent entities such as these from accessing US technologies that could be used in ways that harm our national security,” he added in a statement.



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