The President Joe Biden-led United States’ government has blacklisted six Chinese entities it said were linked to Beijing’s aerospace programs as part of its retaliation over an alleged Chinese spy balloon that traversed U.S. airspace.
According to reports, the economic restrictions followed the Biden administration’s pledge to consider broader efforts to address Chinese surveillance activities and will make it more difficult for the five companies and one research institute to obtain American technology exports.
Experts are of the opinion that the move is likely to further exacerbate the diplomatic row between the U.S. and China sparked by the balloon, which was recently shot down off the Carolina coast. According to the U.S., the balloon was equipped to detect and collect intelligence signals, but Beijing insists it was a weather craft that had blown off course.
Remarkably, the incident prompted Secretary of State Antony Blinken to abruptly cancel a high-stakes trip to Beijing aimed at easing tensions.
A statement by the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security said the six entities were being targeted for “their support to China’s military modernization efforts, specifically the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) aerospace programs including airships and balloons.”
“The PLA is utilizing High Altitude Balloons (HAB) for intelligence and reconnaissance activities,” it said.
In a Twitter post, Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves said his department “will not hesitate to continue to use” such restrictions and other regulatory and enforcement tools “to protect U.S. national security and sovereignty.”
According to reports, the six entities are Beijing Nanjiang Aerospace Technology Co., China Electronics Technology Group Corporation 48th Research Institute, Dongguan Lingkong Remote Sensing Technology Co., Eagles Men Aviation Science and Technology Group Co., Guangzhou Tian-Hai-Xiang Aviation Technology Co., and Shanxi Eagles Men Aviation Science and Technology Group Co.
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