China Urges U.S. To Stop Bullying With Blacklist, Vows To Take Action

China is threatening to impose countermeasures against the U.S. after the Trump administration blacklisted another 59 Chinese companies.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce said on Saturday that the U.S. had abused export control measures to suppress Chinese companies. China will take necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies, the ministry’s spokesperson said.

“We once again urge the U.S. to stop unilateralism and bullying, give fair treatment to companies from all countries, including Chinese companies,” the spokesperson added.

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Commerce added the 59 Chinese companies to its trade blacklist due to their alleged ties to the country’s military, human rights abuses and theft of U.S. trade secrets.

China’s largest chipmaker SMIC (Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation) and related entities were included on the list based on evidence of activities between the companies and the Chinese military industrial complex, the Commerce Department said.

“We will not allow advanced U.S. technology to help build the military of an increasingly belligerent adversary,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. “Between SMIC’s relationships of concern with the military industrial complex, China’s aggressive application of military civil fusion mandates and state-directed subsidies, SMIC perfectly illustrates the risks of China’s leverage of U.S. technology to support its military modernization.”

Placing SMIC on the department’s entity list will limit the company’s ability to acquire U.S. technology by stipulating that U.S. exporters have to apply for a license to sell to the Chinese company. Equipment used to manufacture semiconductor chips at 10 nanometers and below will be barred from export to prevent the technology from supporting China’s military build-up.

China’s DJI, the world’s biggest drone maker, was also added to the list. The Commerce Department said the Shenzhen-based company had enabled high-tech surveillance that was used for human rights abuses in China.

In a stock exchange filing on Friday, SMIC expressed “firm opposition” to its inclusion on the list, stating that it “has never been involved in any operation involving military applications since its incorporation.”

Although the U.S. ban will not adversely affect the company’s short-term operations, it “will have an adverse effect on the research and development and capacity construction of 10 nanometers and below advanced technology nodes.”

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