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WASHINGTON — The Trump administration stated Wednesday it’s imposing sanctions on Chinese officers answerable for Beijing’s navy buildup within the South China Sea. The transfer is the newest salvo within the U.S. strain marketing campaign in opposition to China that has picked up steam forward of November’s presidential election over quite a lot of contentious points.
The State Department introduced it had hit an unspecified variety of Chinese officers and enterprise executives answerable for the militarization of disputed South China Sea areas with journey bans. Immediate members of the family of these focused may additionally be barred from journey to the United States, the division stated.
At the identical time, the Commerce Department stated it had added 24 state-owned Chinese enterprises, a few of which had been on the Defense News Top 100 list this yr, which ranks defense firms world wide based mostly on their defense-related income.
China Electronics Technology Group Corporation — ranked fifteenth place with fiscal 2019 defense income totaling about $10.15 billion — was included within the Commerce Department’s announcement.
The U.S. authorities additionally sanctioned China Shipbuilding Group. China’s two largest shipbuilding conglomerates, China Shipbuilding Industry Company (ranked 14th place) and China State Shipbuilding Corporation (ranked twenty fourth place), merged in November 2019 to create the large maritime enterprise.
The China Communications Construction Company was additionally a part of the sanctions because of its function in establishing synthetic islands by way of dredging operations and different actions that impacted the surroundings and infringed on different nations’ claims.
In an announcement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated the journey ban would apply to Chinese people “responsible for, or complicit in, either the large-scale reclamation, construction, or militarization of disputed outposts in the South China Sea, or [China’s] use of coercion against Southeast Asian claimants to inhibit their access to offshore resources.”
The day after the sanctions had been introduced, China accused the United States of violating worldwide legislation by imposing the penalties, however gave no indication of the way it would possibly retaliate.
“The relevant U.S. acts grossly interfere in China’s internal affairs, violate international law and relevant international norms, which are totally out of hegemonic logic and power politics,” Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian stated. “China will take firm measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of its enterprises and individuals.”
Chinese officers incessantly make such vows, though particular responses are uncommon.
“The relevant construction China carried out on its own territory is entirely within the scope of sovereignty and has nothing to do with militarization,” Zhao stated. “There is no reason for the U.S. side to impose illegal sanctions on Chinese enterprises and individuals because of their participation in relevant domestic construction.”
Last month, Pompeo accused China of “bullying” and introduced that the U.S. wouldn’t acknowledge almost all of China’s maritime claims to areas within the South China Sea which might be contested by its smaller neighbors, together with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. Beijing’s claims to those areas have been accompanied by elevated navy and business actions.
The Chinese authorities can’t be allowed to make use of the China Communications Construction Company or different state-owned companies “as weapons to impose an expansionist agenda,” Pompeo stated. “The United States will act until we see Beijing discontinue its coercive behavior in the South China Sea, and we will continue to stand with allies and partners in resisting this destabilizing activity.”
Defense News’ managing editor, Chris Martin, contributed to this report.