The US has blacklisted 24 Chinese companies and targeted individuals it said were part of construction and military actions in the South China Sea. The move on Wednesday August 26th was its first such sanctions move against China over the waterway, which is of strategic importance and in an area where there are conflicting claims from several countries, including the Philippines and Vietnam.
The US Commerce Department said the sanctioned businesses played a “role in helping the Chinese military construct and militarize the internationally condemned artificial islands in the South China Sea.” The State Department separately said it would impose visa restrictions on Chinese individuals “responsible for, or complicit in,” such action and those linked to China’s “use of coercion against Southeast Asian claimants to inhibit their access to offshore resources.” The companies blacklisted included China Shipbuilding Group.
The US has accused China of militarizing the South China Sea and trying to intimidate other Asian countries that also lay claim to the region’s extensive oil and gas reserves. China claims virtually all of the South China Sea, but Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also lay claim to various parts of the region. The State Department did not name those subject to visa bans.
Source: Insurance Marine News