US blacklists Chinese companies for allegedly supporting Russian military

The Biden administration has placed five Chinese companies on an export blacklist for violating sanctions by allegedly providing support to Russian military and defense companies before and during the invasion of Ukraine.

The Commerce Department has put Chinese companies on the “entity list”, which effectively prevents American companies from exporting to them. The companies, which are not globally recognized names, are Connec Electronic, King Pai Technology, Sinno Electronics, Winninc Electronic and World Jetta (HK) Logistics.

“Today’s action sends a powerful message to entities and individuals around the world that if they seek to support Russia, the United States will cut them off,” said Alan Estevez, Under Secretary of Commerce. .

The blacklist was announced amid growing US concerns about deepening ties between Beijing and Moscow, particularly after Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin signed a statement in February describing the Sino-Russian partnership as having “no limits”.

The Financial Times reported in March that China had signaled its willingness to provide military assistance to Russia, which set off alarm bells in Washington.

Over the past two months, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin have warned their Chinese counterparts that Washington will take strong action if China provides Russia with military equipment or assistance. . US officials said there was no evidence that China provided military assistance.

The Commerce Department on Tuesday did not accuse the Chinese government or military of supplying equipment to the Russian military. “We haven’t seen China supplying Russia with military hardware or consistently evading sanctions,” a White House official said.

But the decision to place the companies on the Entity List underscored the broader concern over China-Russia ties. It is also the first time President Joe Biden’s administration has penalized Chinese entities for aiding the Russian military since Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine in February.

Chinese and Russian nuclear bombers flew over the Sea of ​​Japan last month while Joe Biden was in Tokyo, further stoking US concerns. Experts said the drill highlighted how Beijing was cooperating with Moscow even as Russian forces carried out their assault on Ukraine.

The Chinese Embassy in the United States said Beijing was playing a “constructive role” in promoting peace talks and had not provided military assistance to Russia.

“China and Russia maintain normal energy and trade cooperation, and the legitimate interests of Chinese companies should not be harmed,” said an embassy spokesperson, who criticized Washington for imposing unilateral sanctions in under its “long arm jurisdiction”.

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