5 Chinese companies and a research institute blacklisted by the US spy balloon program
- February 11, 2023
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As part of its retaliation against China over the alleged spy balloon that flew over US airspace last week, the US has blacklisted six Chinese companies it says are linked to Beijing’s aerospace programs .
The economic restrictions announced on Friday, following the Biden administration’s promise to consider broader efforts to counter Chinese surveillance activities, will make it harder for the five companies and a research institute to obtain American technology exports.
The move is likely to further escalate the diplomatic row between the US and China sparked by the balloon shot down off the coast of Carolina last weekend. The US said the balloon was equipped to detect and collect intelligence signals, but Beijing insists it was a weather ship that had gone off course.
The incident prompted Foreign Secretary Antony Blinken to abruptly cancel a trip to Beijing to defuse tensions.
The US Bureau of Industry and Security said the six entities were targeted for “their support for China’s military modernization efforts, particularly the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aerospace programs, including airships and balloons.”
“The PLA uses High Altitude Balloons (HAB) for intelligence and reconnaissance activities,” it said.
Assistant Secretary of Commerce Don Graves said on Twitter that his department “will not hesitate to continue to use such restrictions and other regulatory and enforcement tools to protect U.S. national security and sovereignty.”
The six companies are Beijing Nanjiang Aerospace Technology Co., China Electronics Technology Group Corporation 48th Research Institute, Dongguan Lingkong Remote Sensing Technology Co., Eagles Men Aviation Science and Technology Group Co., Guangzhou Tian-Hai-Xiang Aviation Technology Co. and Shanxi Eagles Men Aviation Science and Technology Group Co.
The research institute did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The other five units could not be reached.
On Friday, on orders from President Joe Biden, a US military fighter jet shot down an unidentified object flying off Alaska’s remote north coast. The object was shot down because it reportedly posed a threat to the safety of civilian flights, rather than knowing it was involved in surveillance.
But the two incidents in such short succession reflect heightened concerns about China’s surveillance program and public pressure on Biden to take a firm stand against it.