Commerce blacklists companies providing American technology to Chinese hypersonic aircraft

This week, the Biden administration stepped up its efforts to thwart the transfer of advanced American technology to the Chinese military by placing more than 30 Chinese firms on a blacklist. Among these firms are a network of resellers who supplied the Chinese hypersonic weapons program with advanced American technology and several organizations engaged in the Western-based pilot training of Chinese military personnel.

Three firms that resold aerodynamics technology made in the United States by Ansys, a Pennsylvania-based company, and Siemens Digital Industries Software to Chinese institutions working on hypersonic technology are among those who have been added to the list. Another blacklisted Chinese company allowed the sale of cutting-edge American optical technology to the Luoyang-based China Air-to-Air Missile Research Institute. The resellers have made no secret of the fact that they collaborate with the Chinese defence industry.

“The Commerce Department stated in a notice outlining the new controls on Monday that “these entities have demonstrated ties to the operations of the concern, including hypersonic weapons development, the design and produce of air-to-air missiles, hypersonic the flight modeling, and weapon life cycle management using western software.”The most recent sanctions come as Secretary of State Antony Blinken prepares to travel to Beijing next week in an effort to mend fences between the two nations after a Chinese spy balloon soared over the US mainland in late January. Over a number of topics, including American efforts to limit Chinese possession of semiconductors and other competitive technologies utilized for military purposes, tensions between the United States and China have risen to new heights.

As part of a larger investigation of American technology transfers to over 50 Chinese organizations that had previously been sanctioned by the United States for their ties to the Chinese military, The Washington Post previously documented purchases by four of the blacklisted Chinese companies.

The Commerce Department’s Entity List now includes the Chinese corporations, making it illegal to export American technology to certain groups without a permit. Under the Biden administration, the list has been extended multiple times to include companies connected to Chinese defense, human rights, and state surveillance initiatives. Beijing officially criticize it as a tool for illegitimately restricting Chinese businesses, therefore it has grown to be a major source of unrest there. This year’s additions also include five connected Chinese companies.

Beijing harshly blasted the new sanctions and charged that Washington was using state authority improperly to “hysterically” disrupt international supply chains and “go after” Chinese companies.

At a news conference on Monday, Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said, “We strongly disagree with these acts taken by the U.S. and interest that it immediately cease to utilize military and human rights-related problems as pretexts to politicize, instrumentalize, and weaponize business and tech issues, and cease using export control tools such as entity lists in order to keep Chinese companies down.” He declared, “China will keep doing what is required to firmly preserve the legal rights and interests of Chinese firms.

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