China condemned the U.S. adding 33 Chinese entities to a trade blacklist, a move that risks potential retaliation from Beijing as tensions between the world’s two-biggest economies deteriorate further.
The U.S. Department of Commerce on Saturday expanded its so-called entities list, which restricts access to American technology and other items, to include 24 Chinese companies and universities it said had ties to the military and another 9 entities it accused of human rights violations in Xinjiang.
China’s foreign ministry on Monday expressed “strong dissatisfaction” and “firm opposition” to the move as it defended the government’s crackdown in Xinjiang, saying that “counter-terrorism measures” were taken “to prevent the breeding of terrorism and extremism at the source.”
We urge the United States to correct its mistakes, withdraw the relevant decisions, and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters. “China will continue to take all necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises and safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests.”
The U.S.-China relationship has worsened dramatically in the past few months, partly as America has became one of the countries worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic, which first broke out in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The world’s two biggest economies have clashed on a range of issues from trade to Taiwan.
Some of the organizations affected issued statements opposing the blacklistings, while analysts warned of a further decoupling between the U.S. and China.
“The move marks a U.S.-China technology decoupling 2.0 or 2.5.,” said Zhou Xiaoming, a former Ministry of Commerce official and diplomat. “This won’t be the last one, and there will be more coming.”