The United States Department of Commerce has added six Chinese entities connected to Beijing alleged surveillance balloon program to an export blacklist.
The department said Friday that the five companies and a research institute support “China’s military modernization efforts, especially the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aerospace programs, including airships and balloons.”
The move came a day after US lawmakers unanimously criticized Beijing’s use of an alleged spy balloon that flown over North America last week.
The new restrictions also come after the White House said it would consider broader efforts to “expose and address” China’s broader surveillance activities that threaten the national security of the United States and its allies.
What the blacklist entails
The blacklist means it would be harder for targeted companies to secure US tech exports.
“The (People’s Republic of China’s) use of high-altitude balloons violates our sovereignty and threatens the national security of the United States,” Commerce Undersecretary for Industry and Security Alan Estevez said on Friday. , in a press release.
“Today’s action makes it clear that entities that seek to harm the national security and sovereignty of the United States will be cut off from access to American technologies,” he said.
The six entities include:
- 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
- Shanxi Eagles Men Aviation Science and Technology Group Co
The sight of the Chinese balloon drifting over the United States caused political outcry in Washington, highlighting the challenges China posed to the United States and its allies.
The Commerce Department said the six entities support the modernization of China’s PLA and its aerospace programs, including airships and balloons.
“The PLA uses high-altitude balloons for intelligence and reconnaissance activities,” said the list published for the Federal Register, the official US daily.
China, however, said the balloon was a “civilian airship used for research purposes, mainly for meteorological purposes.”
dvv/kb (AFP, Reuters)