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The US blacklists 24 Chinese firms, in the middle of the South China Sea dispute

By Ritika Nath

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The United States, on Wednesday, blacklisted 24 Chinese Companies which was a part of construction and military actions related to disputed islands in the waters of the South China Sea. Sanctions and restrictions have been made on two dozen Chinese firms and associated officials for participating in building artificial islands in the disputed waters in the South China Sea as announced by The United States. These 24 firms which were state-owned include subsidiaries of constructing giant China Communications Construction Co., telecommunications firms and a unit of the China Shipbuilding Group.

The US Commerce Department stated that the 24 companies played a “role in helping the Chinese military construct and militarise the internationally condemned artificial islands in the South China Sea.” The State Department also commented that this would result in imposing strict restrictions of the visa on Chinese individuals “responsible for, or complicit in,” such action and those linked to China’s “use of coercion against Southeast Asian claimants to inhibit their access to offshore resources.”

This move was the latest effort made by Trump’s administration to crack down the companies whose goods may support Chinese Military services and also create pressure on Beijing over its military build-up in areas of the Sea where authority is contested by several countries.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo published a statement where he said, “Since 2013, the PRC has used its state-owned enterprises to dredge and reclaim more than 3,000 acres on disputed features in the South China Sea, destabilizing the region, trampling on the sovereign rights of its neighbours, and causing untold environmental devastation.”

The Chinese Embassy in Washington is yet to comment on this situation.

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