Washington adds Chinese companies to its blacklist
Washington on Friday added six Chinese companies to its blacklist after it destroyed a Chinese balloon equipped with spying tools that was flying over the United States, preventing those companies from accessing American technology and goods without permission.
“China’s use of high-altitude balloons violates our sovereignty and threatens the national security of the United States,” Alan Estevez, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security, said in a statement.
Washington shot down the balloon off its Atlantic coast on Saturday after it flew over sensitive military sites.
Beijing had confirmed that the airship was civilian and used for research purposes, especially for meteorology.
However, footage taken by US military aircraft showed that he was equipped with spying tools.
This diplomatic clash prompted US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to postpone a rare visit to China.
Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves said the US blacklisting of these six Chinese companies is “a powerful tool to identify and block those seeking to use their access to global markets to harm and threaten US national security”.
“We won’t hesitate to use this regulation and our other regulatory and enforcement tools to protect the national security of the United States,” he added.
A few days ago, US President Joe Biden announced that the United States doesn’t seek conflict with China, despite the tension over the shooting down of a Chinese balloon, which US officials described as intended for espionage purposes.
“We’re not seeking conflict, and this is the case so far,” Biden said in an interview with the Newshour show on TBS network.
Biden’s comments appeared aimed at easing tensions over the huge Chinese balloon that flew over the US mainland before being shot down by the Pentagon off the East Coast on Saturday.
Biden added that his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, faces enormous problems, including his country’s fragile economy.