White House expected to blacklist 35 entities as “Communist Chinese Military Companies”
As President Donald Trump’s first term comes to a close, his administration is stepping up pressure on the China’s Military establishment. The White House has added four more China-based companies to the list of “Communist Chinese military companies,” making them off-bounds for American investors and financial institutions.
President Trump issued an executive order on November 12 banning investment in firms controlled by China’s military establishment. The order set to come into effect in early January will target around 35 companies identified as entities run by the Chinese military. Communist China is “increasingly exploiting United States capital to resource and to enable the development and modernization of its military, intelligence, and other security apparatuses,” the order added.
The Chinese military establishment is increasingly using private companies as fronts for acquiring critical Western technology and accessing global financial capital, the Trump administration believes. “Through the national strategy of Military-Civil Fusion, the PRC increases the size of the country’s military-industrial complex by compelling civilian Chinese companies to support its military and intelligence activities,” the executive order explained.
The news agency Reuters on Friday reported further measures taken by the White House against Chinese military companies:
Washington is poised to designate four more Chinese companies as backed by the Chinese military, sources said, curbing their access to U.S. investors as the Trump administration seeks to cement its hawkish China legacy in its waning days.
The designations, which have not been previously reported, could be released by the Department of Defense as soon as Friday but may be unveiled next week, said one U.S. official and one person familiar with the matter who declined to be named.
The White House and the Chinese embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The additions would bring the number of Chinese companies affected to 35. They include giants like Hikvision, China Telecom Corp and China Mobile, which were added earlier this year.
The list of “Communist Chinese Military Companies” was mandated by a 1999 law requiring the Pentagon to compile a catalogue of companies “owned or controlled” by the People’s Liberation Army, but the defense department only complied this year.
The latest move would come just days after the White House published an executive order, first reported by Reuters, that sought to give teeth to the list by prohibiting U.S. investors from buying securities of the blacklisted companies from November 2021.
The move “helps ensure no American is unwittingly subsidizing the (Chinese Communist Party)’s campaign to dominate the technologies of the future,” said Republican Congressman Mike Gallagher, who has introduced legislation to ban blacklisted Chinese companies from U.S. capital markets.
The growing list of military-linked Chinese companies includes telecommunications giants like China Telecom Corp, China Mobile, and their subsidiaries listed on U.S. stock markets. China’s state-controlled companies hold a lion’s share of technology and infrastructure needed for the worldwide roll-out of the 5G wireless networks. Communist China’s penetration of the 5G networks, which will control industrial robotics, power plants, traffic flow, and military infrastructure, poses a serious security threat to the U.S. and the West.
“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, which routinely target American citizens and businesses,” U.S. national security adviser, said Robert O’Brien, said earlier this month.
The mainstream media downplayed the White House measures against the Chinese military as temporary, and likely to be overturned by Democratic candidate Joe Biden, who they have declared the winner of the presidential race. “The Biden transition team declined to comment on the order,” The UK daily Financial Times reported last week.
The executive order blacklisting Chinese military firm’s “limit Biden’s policy space,” the Chinese regime’s mouthpiece, Global Times, complained. The move will leave “little room for Biden to adjust, and forcing Biden to follow the track of playing tough against China,” the Communist daily added.
The Trump White House, however, appears to be undeterred by the media narrative. Earlier this month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo predicted a “smooth transition to a second Trump administration.”
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Author: Vijeta Uniyal