Chinese-US tensions: Biden signs executive order extending Trump-era ban on investments in certain Chinese companies


Biden on Thursday signed an executive order prohibiting Americans from owning or trading in securities related to 59 companies, citing the threat of Chinese surveillance technology. The original order, signed by former President Donald Trump in November, applied to 31 Chinese companies which the administration said “allow the development and modernization” of the Chinese military and “directly threaten” security. American.

Biden’s new order goes into effect on August 2.

Biden’s announcement largely continues the campaign his predecessor launched against Chinese technology and other companies.

Many companies that were on Trump’s list, including smartphone maker Huawei and Hikvision, a major manufacturer and supplier of CCTV equipment, remain on it. Some of the country’s largest telecommunications companies, including China Mobile, China Telecommunications, and China Unicom, are also still banned.

The decision to extend the scope of the order is due to “unusual and extraordinary threats” posed by Chinese surveillance technology, according to the White House, which added that the decision “allows the United States to ban – de targeted and widespread – US investments in Chinese companies that undermine the security or democratic values ​​of the United States and our allies. “

Asked Thursday in Beijing about Biden’s expected announcement – the move was reported earlier by Bloomberg – China’s Foreign Ministry said Washington’s actions marked “total disregard for the facts.”

Trump’s original ban “not only undermined the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies, but also harmed the interests of global investors, including those of the United States,” spokesman Wang Wenbin told journalists.

Several of the companies that were named in the two orders have previously dismissed claims that they were linked to the Chinese military as being without merit. Xiaomi even managed to lobby against its inclusion on the Trump-era roster, and in May of this year the US Department of Defense and the smartphone maker struck a deal to overturn the company’s ban. .
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Biden’s decision suggests Washington is not rushing to make amends with Beijing. Analysts have previously said that while Biden will likely adopt a more predictable and diplomatic tone with China than Trump does, they don’t expect the administration to relax its technology and trade policies.

Political clashes have already exacerbated tensions between the two countries. A summit in March in Alaska between senior U.S. and Chinese officials ended in an unusual diplomatic row. The two sides have also quarreled recently over a handful of issues, including alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang and the origins of Covid-19.

Despite this, countries are resuming talks on some issues. Beijing said Thursday it now has “normal communication” with Washington on trade and the economy, citing recent talks between Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and US Secretary to Trésor Janet Yellen as “professional, frank and constructive”. . “

– CNN’s Beijing office contributed to this report.

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