WASHINGTON, 30 November 2020, (TON): The administration of US President Donald Trump is poised to add China’s top chipmaker SMIC and national offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC to a blacklist of alleged Chinese military companies.
The move would curb the companies’ access to investors in the US, escalating tensions with Beijing weeks before President-elect Joe Biden takes over the White House.
Reuters, a news agency reported earlier this month based on a document and sources that the Department of Defense (DoD) was planning to designate four more Chinese companies as being owned or controlled by the Chinese military, bringing the number of Chinese companies affected to 35.
It was not immediately clear when the new tranche would be published in the Federal Register. But the list comprises China Construction Technology Co Ltd and China International Engineering Consulting Corp, in addition to Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) and China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC), according to the document and three sources.
The move, along with similar policies, is seen as an attempt by Trump to cement his tough-on-China legacy and to box incoming Biden into hardline positions on Beijing amid bipartisan anti-China sentiment in Congress.
Trump has banned the sale of key components such as computer chips to China’s Huawei. The world’s biggest maker of mobile telecommunications equipment and smartphones is under pressure from US trade curbs designed to choke off Huawei’s access to commercially available chips, accusing it of helping Beijing spy on its rivals.