U.S. sanctions on CNOOC and Xiaomi, and other moves

Foreign Affairs

The United States Defense and Commerce departments both released blacklists of Chinese entities today as the Trump administration uses its last week in power to implement tough China policies.

A CNOOC deepwater drilling rig in Shanghai, China, in May 2011, before sailing to the South China Sea. Reuters / Tu zhili.

A day after banning imports of all Xinjiang cotton and tomato products, the U.S. has made a number of moves targeting Chinese entities today:

The United States Commerce Department announced sanctions on Chinese state-owned enterprises and military officials “and added Chinese oil giant CNOOC to a blacklist, accusing them of using coercion against states with rival claims in the South China Sea,” per Reuters. 

  • Chinese aviation firm Skyrizon was also added to a Military End-User (MEU) List “over its ability to develop military products including aircraft engines, restricting its access to U.S. exports.”

“And just hours later, the Pentagon placed Xiaomi — which in November surpassed Apple to become the world’s third-biggest smartphone manufacturer by units sold — and eight other businesses on a list of companies with alleged connections to the Chinese military,” reports the Financial Times

  • The U.S. Department of Defense does not seem to have published its new list, but Reuters says it has seen documents that show nine Chinese firms have been added “to a blacklist of alleged Chinese military companies, including planemaker Comac and mobile phone maker Xiaomi.” 

The U.S. Commerce Department has also “finalised new rules to make it easier for the federal government to block Americans from importing technology from China and other U.S. adversaries that it decides could threaten national security” reports the Financial Times

The U.S. Department of Justice has charged Chinese-born MIT scientist for failing to disclose China ties and funding. According to a filing today, “Gang Chen, 56, was charged by criminal complaint with wire fraud, failing to file a foreign bank account report (FBAR) and making a false statement in a tax return.”

The bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China released a report today which says “China has possibly committed ‘genocide’ in its treatment of Uyghurs and other minority Muslims in its western region of Xinjiang,” per the South China Morning Post.  

See our 2021 Red Paper for a summary of U.S. moves against China in the last year.