The Chinese National Overseas Oil Corporation was blacklisted by the U.S. Commerce Department Thursday after reports that it aided China in its efforts to “intimidate” neighbors in the South China Sea.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement that the company was added to an economic blacklist for posing a threat to U.S. national security.
“China’s reckless and belligerent actions in the South China Sea and its aggressive push to acquire sensitive intellectual property and technology for its militarization efforts are a threat to U.S. national security and the security of the international community,” Mr. Ross said.
“CNOOC acts a bully for the People’s Liberation Army to intimidate China’s neighbors, and the Chinese military continues to benefit from government civil-military fusion policies for malign purposes.”
Chinese company Skyrizon was also added to the Military End-User list for “its capability to develop, produce, or maintain military items, such as military aircraft engines.”
“Skyrizon—a Chinese state-owned company—and its push to acquire and indigenize foreign military technologies pose a significant threat to U.S. national security and foreign policy interests,” Mr. Ross said. “This action serves to warn the export community of Skyrizon’s significant ties to the People’s Liberation Army.”
China has claimed some 90 percent of the South China Sea as its sovereign maritime territory. Taiwan and Vietnam also claim sovereignty over sections of the region.
The Trump administration last year launched an aggressive campaign to push back against China’s claims, declaring that the waterway is free and open international waters.
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