United States blacklisted 24 Chinese companies, individuals amid South China Sea dispute

Vastavam web: The United States on Wednesday blacklisted 24 Chinese companies and targeted individuals it said were part of construction and military actions in the South China Sea, its first such sanctions move against Beijing over the disputed strategic waterway. The U.S. Commerce Department said the two dozen companies played a “role in helping the Chinese military construct and militarize the internationally condemned artificial islands in the South China Sea.”

The companies blacklisted included Guangzhou Haige Communications Group, several firms that appear to be related to the China Communications Construction Co, as well as Beijing Huanjia Telecommunication, Changzhou Guoguang Data Communications, China Electronics Technology Group Corp and China Shipbuilding Group. It was the latest U.S. move to punish firms whose goods may support Chinese military activities and comes in the run up to the Nov. 3 U.S. election, in which both President Donald Trump and rival Joe Biden have been sharply critical of China.

U.S. warships have gone through the area to assert the freedom of access to international waterways, raising fears of clashes. A spokesperson for China’s embassy in Washington condemned the U.S. sactions as “completely unreasonable,” and urged the United States to reverse them.