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Biden expands Chinese tech and military blocklist to 59 companies

US president calls China’s military-industrial complex 'a threat' and condemns surveillance technology for human rights abuse

US president Joe Biden has issued an executive order to expand the Trump-era ban preventing Chinese tech and defence companies from receiving American investment, upping it from 31 to 59 named entities.

The increase goes into effect August 2, officials said. Funds that currently have investments in banned companies or debt issued by them will have one year to make changes before penalties are issued.

In the order, Biden said additional steps were necessary to address “the threat posed by the military-industrial complex of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and its involvement in military, intelligence, and security research and development programs, and weapons and related equipment production under the PRC’s Military-Civil Fusion strategy.”

Biden also addressed Chinese surveillance technology and its use in human rights abuse against Muslim minority group the Uighurs and global dissidents:

In addition, I find that the use of Chinese surveillance technology outside the PRC and the development or use of Chinese surveillance technology to facilitate repression or serious human rights abuse constitute unusual and extraordinary threats, which have their source in whole or substantial part outside the United States, to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, and I hereby expand the scope of the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13959 to address those threats.

While Trump’s list was compiled by the Pentagon, the new list was compiled by the Treasury Department, which is more experienced at issuing sanctions, in hopes that any courtroom challenge to the ban would have less merit.

Administration officials have said the list of entities US firms are forbidden to trade with (without a specially issued licence) is likely to grow. ®

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