By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, June 7: US President Joe Biden has included more Chinese companies on the banned list citing links to the Chinese military. Biden on Thursday signed an executive order that banned US investment in any securities tied to 59 Chinese companies, whereas the former President Donald Trump’s original order signed in November applied to 31 companies. Biden said these firms “enable the development and modernization” of China’s military and “directly threaten” security of the country.
The new order will be in effect from August 2, and continues policies against Chinese tech and other businesses started by Biden’s predecessor. The list of banned companies includes smartphone giants like Huawei, and big telecommunications companies such as China Mobile, China Telecommunications and China Unicom.
According to the White House, expanding the scope of order is due to “unusual and extraordinary threats” posed by Chinese surveillance technology. The order further added that the US investment in Chinese companies “undermine the security or democratic values of the US and our allies.”
China said that it “firmly opposed” the White House move as it affects “not only the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies, but also the interests of global investors, including US investors.” Chinese Foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin at a press briefing on Friday said that the US has “unscrupulously suppressed and restricted Chinese companies.”
Several companies on the list have dismissed claims of ties with the Chinese military as being groundless, and smartphone maker Xiaomi successfully lobbied against its name on the banned list as the US Department of Defence in May reached an agreement to set aside the current ban on the company. Experts have previously said that the Biden administration is unlikely to steer away from the diplomatic tone with China that former President Trump adopted during his term.
The two countries have feuded over a handful of issues in the past months, including concerns over human rights abuses in East Turkestan and origins of Covid-19 virus.