onsdag 26. august 2020

US Sanctions Chinese Companies Over South China Sea Island-Building

The United States on Wednesday announced it has placed sanctions on 24 Chinese companies and individuals within those companies for their part in constructing China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea. The action is likely to exacerbate tensions between the two world powers. It follows the U.S. declaration last month that China’s claims to nearly the entirety of the South China Sea on the basis of “historic rights” is unlawful. Washington has also accused Beijing of “bullying” other claimants.

Some 24 companies were placed on the U.S. Commerce Department’s Entity List, which restricts exports to businesses abroad due to their “activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States,” effectively killing any ability for American businesses to trade or interact with them. The State Department simultaneously placed visa restrictions on individuals within some of those companies, barring them from traveling to the U.S.

The stated reason for their sanctioning is the companies’ role in China’s extensive dredging campaign in the South China Sea from 2014 to 2017, which saw China build massive artificial islands and military bases among the Spratly and Paracel archipelagoes to strengthen its claim to disputed waters and support the activities of its military, the People’s Liberation Army. China is currently holding military exercises around one of features, Woody Island.