The Trump administration has put new restrictions on two sets of Chinese entities--targeting one group which is pursuing military technology and another which is aiding Beijing's crackdown on China's Muslim minority groups.
On Friday, the Commerce Department named nine entities for complicity in alleged human rights violations in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in western China. The list included seven companies that assist Beijing in high-technology surveillance in the region, the Department said in a statement cited by The WallStreet Journal.
Separately, the Commerce Department targeted 24 Chinese commercial and government entities based in China, Hong Kong, and the Cayman Islands that it said: "represent a significant risk of supporting the procurement of items for military end-use in China."
All 33 entities were added to an export blacklist of businesses and individuals that are considered to be national-security threats or engaged in activities contrary to the United States foreign policy. The American companies that continue to do business with them risk steep fines or jail time, the Department added further.
The additions to the blacklist "demonstrate our commitment to preventing the use of U.S. commodities and technologies in activities that undermine our interests," said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in the statement.
Among the entities named for abetting Uighur surveillance were CloudWalk Technology and FiberHome Technologies Group. Those named for trying to procure military technology included Beijing Computational Science Research Center and Qihoo 360 Technology Co.
Friday's announcement signals that the Trump administration is continuing to put pressure on the Chinese leadership despite reaching the first phase of a trade deal in January. The deal called for China to increase its purchase of US goods and services by USD200 billion over the next two years.
Earlier this week, White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow was quoted as saying by the Journal that the deal has not been derailed by the coronavirus pandemic or by persistent tension between the world's two largest economies.