The US Commerce Department has blacklisted six Chinese firms linked to Beijing’s surveillance-balloon program in retaliation for the suspected spy balloon that traversed the U.S. The firms have been restricted from obtaining US items and technologies without US government authorisation.
The Chinese government has attempted to minimize the seriousness of the event, claiming the balloon was a civilian instrument used for weather observation. However, the US Commerce Department is restricting the companies from obtaining US technology without government authorization as they support the Chinese government’s “modernization efforts, specifically those related to aerospace programs, including airships and balloons and related materials and components, that are used by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) for intelligence and reconnaissance,” said the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security.
Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security Alan Estevez stated that PRC’s use of high-altitude balloons “violates our sovereignty” and “threatens US national security.”
“The Entity List is a powerful tool for identifying and cutting off actors that seek to use their access to global markets to do harm and threaten American national security,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves in a statement.
The six companies include Beijing Nanjiang Aerospace Technology; China Electronics Technology Group Corporation 48th Research Institute; and Dongguan Lingkong Remote Sensing Technology; Eagles Men Aviation Science and Technology Group; Guangzhou Tian-Hai-Xiang Aviation Technology; and Shanxi Eagles Men Aviation Science and Technology Group.
Moreover, the US government shot down another unidentified object near Alaska on Friday, although it was not immediately clear which country or company was responsible for it.
The Commerce Department’s action sends “a clear message to companies, governments, and other stakeholders globally that the entities on the list present a threat to national security,” said the statement. Commentators have cautioned against overreaction in the latest tension between US and China relations.
0. “U.S. Blacklists Chinese Companies It Links to Balloon Program” The Wall Street Journal, 10 Feb. 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-poised-to-blacklist-chinese-firms-involved-in-balloon-program-c69e786b
1. “US blacklists 6 Chinese entities involved in spy balloon programs” The Indian Express, 11 Feb. 2023, https://indianexpress.com/article/world/us-blacklists-chinese-entities-spy-balloon-8438559
2. “US adds 6 Chinese entities, linked with balloon program, to trade blacklist” WION, 11 Feb. 2023, https://www.wionews.com/world/us-adds-6-chinese-entities-linked-with-balloon-program-to-trade-blacklist-560798
3. “US Blacklists Six Chinese Companies for Spy Balloon Episode” Zee News, 11 Feb. 2023, https://zeenews.india.com/world/us-blacklists-six-chinese-companies-for-spy-balloon-episode-2572041.html
4. “US restricts 6 Chinese companies tied to airships and balloons” KAKE, 11 Feb. 2023, https://www.kake.com/story/48364914/us-restricts-6-chinese-companies-tied-to-airships-and-balloons