US placing a dozen Chinese businesses on its trade blacklist

China criticized the United States on Thursday for placing a dozen Chinese businesses on its trade blacklist. This was due to national security concerns and in some cases, their assistance with the development of quantum computing technology by the Chinese military.

The U.S. commerce secretary has added Chinese names to its blacklist amid growing tensions between Beijing, Washington and Taiwan over Taiwan’s status and trade issues.

According to the department, several individuals and entities from China and Pakistan were also added to Commerce Department’s Entity List to aid in Pakistan’s nuclear activities and ballistic missile program.

Total, 27 entities from China, Japan and Pakistan were added to the list.

China strongly opposes sanctions against Chinese companies and will make solemn representations to the United States, Shu Jueting (a spokesperson for China’s commerce ministry) stated at a news conference.

In a statement Wednesday, Gina Raimondo, Commerce Secretary, stated that the new listings will prevent the U.S. from supporting the development and use of Russian and Chinese military advancements and other activities of non-proliferation concern such as Pakistan’s nuclear activities and ballistic missile program.

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China’s Embassy in Washington claimed that the United States uses the “catch-all” concept of national security and abuses its state power to suppress or restrict Chinese enterprises.

Liu Pengyu, a spokesperson for the Embassy, stated that China is opposed to such a move.

He stated that the United States should follow the spirit of a virtual meeting of U.S. President Joe Biden with Chinese leader Xi Jinping last Wednesday and “meet China halfway rather than continuing down the wrong track.”

China will take all necessary steps to defend its businesses, but reserves the right to counter the sanctions, Zhao Lijian, spokesperson at the Chinese foreign ministry, said at a briefing Thursday.

The U.S. Commerce Department stated that Hangzhou Zhongke Microelectronics Co Ltd and Hunan Goke Microelectronics, New H3C Semiconductor Technologies Co Ltd and Xi’an Aerospace Huaxun Technology were added to the Commerce Department’s entity lists for their support of the military modernization efforts of the People’s Liberation Army.

It also included Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences (Microscale), QuantumCTek, and Shanghai QuantumCTeck Co Ltd on the list for “acquiring or attempting to acquire U.S.Origin Items in Support of Military Applications”.

These eight Chinese companies were listed in order to stop the use of U.S. technology to aid China’s development of quantum computing applications for its military.

The Commerce Department is trying to prevent the Chinese military from developing counter-stealth technology. This could include advanced radars and counter-submarine applications such as underwater sensors. According to the Commerce Department, this action will also prevent U.S. material from being used to break encryption in China or create unbreakable encryption.

Before they can sell to entities, suppliers to those companies will have to apply for a license. This is most likely to be denied.

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