US Extends Ban on Investments in Firms Tied to Chinese Military

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The United States will continue a Trump-era order barring American investors from financing Chinese military-linked companies, President Joe Biden announced on Nov. 9.

“The PRC [People’s Republic of China] is increasingly exploiting United States capital to resource and to enable the development and modernization of its military, intelligence, and other security apparatuses, which continues to allow the PRC to directly threaten the United States homeland and United States forces overseas,” Biden wrote in a letter to House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday.

The executive order that the then-President Donald Trump issued last December blocked investors, including U.S. investment firms and pension funds, from buying shares of Chinese entities that the Department of Defense deemed to be “owned or controlled by” the Chinese military.

Biden in June expanded on the scope of the restrictions, tasking instead the Treasury Department to select targeted entities and update on a rolling basis a blacklist that currently covers 59 Chinese firms.

Those under the trade ban include telecom network suppliers Huawei and ZTE, and state-owned video surveillance manufacturer Hikvision. All three firms have been under scrutiny for their roles in contributing to Beijing’s expansive surveillance apparatus targeting ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, as well as their ties to the Chinese military. The blacklist also includes China’s leading semiconductor maker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) and national oil company CNOOC.

Under the national strategy known as “civil-military fusion,” Beijing has been leveraging private sector technological innovations to advance its defense capabilities.

By Eva Fu

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