BEIJING • China has condemned the United States for adding 33 Chinese entities to a trade blacklist, a move that risks potential retaliation from Beijing as tensions between the world’s two biggest economies spike further.
The US Department of Commerce on Saturday expanded its so-called entities list, which restricts access to American technology and other items, to include 24 Chinese companies and universities it said had ties to the military, and another nine entities it accused of human rights violations in Xinjiang.
Some of the entities affected issued statements opposing the move, while analysts warned of further US-China decoupling.
China’s Foreign Ministry yesterday expressed “strong dissatisfaction” and “firm opposition” to the move as it defended the government’s crackdown in Xinjiang, saying “counterterrorism measures” were taken “to prevent the breeding of terrorism and extremism at the source”.
“We urge the United States to correct its mistakes, withdraw the relevant decisions, and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters.
“China will continue to take all necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises and safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests.”
US-China ties have worsened dramatically in the past few months, partly as America has became one of the countries worst hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, which first broke out in China’s Wuhan city. The two sides have clashed over a range of issues, from trade to Taiwan.
“The move marks a US-China technology decoupling 2.0 or 2.5,” said Mr Zhou Xiaoming, a former Ministry of Commerce official and diplomat.
“This won’t be the last one, and there will be more coming.”
Qihoo 360 Technology Company, an Internet security software supplier, said earlier in a statement that the US move politicised business.
NetPosa Technologies, which produces video recorders, said the sanctions will not have a major impact on its daily operations, adding that it will continue to localise its supply chain.
China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday warned that US politicians were pushing relations to a “new Cold War”, as American politicians condemned Beijing’s move to impose a national security law on Hong Kong.
“The message sent from the US is more important than the entity list itself,” said Mr Li Yong, a senior fellow at the China Association of International Trade, which is connected to the Ministry of Commerce.
“It shows the US intention to politicise commercial ties, curb China’s technology development and expand its long-arm jurisdiction.”
Mr Li said China has refrained from implementing its own “unreliable entity list” because it still wants to leave some “breathing space” for bilateral relations.