US unveils new sanctions on China

Lazy eyes listen


On Friday, the United States imposed new sanctions on China, targeting six companies linked to Beijing’s suspected surveillance program. The move follows the detection and destruction of a Chinese “spy balloon” in US airspace.

The US Commerce Department said in a statement that the entities were blacklisted for supporting China’s “military modernization efforts, particularly those related to aerospace programs.” These included airships, balloons, and other intelligence and reconnaissance equipment used by Beijing.

The new restrictions will make it more difficult for sanctioned firms to obtain US technologies. Beijing Nanjing Aerospace Technology and China Electronics Technology Group Corporation’s 48th Research Institute are among the entities targeted.

China’s “use of high-altitude balloons violates our sovereignty and threatens US national security,” according to Alan Estevez, Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security. He claimed that the sanctions would make it clear that entities attempting to undermine Washington’s national security “will be denied access to US technologies.”

The saga of the’spy balloon’ began last week, when the Pentagon announced that it was tracking a suspected Chinese surveillance airship over the US state of Montana. A F-22 fighter jet shot it down over the water off the coast of South Carolina two days later. While the Pentagon accuses China of using the balloon to “surveil strategic sites” in the United States, Beijing describes it as a “civilian airship” that strayed into US territory due to force majeure.

According to China’s foreign ministry, some US politicians and media outlets “hyped” the incident as a pretext to “attack and smear China,” and Beijing has “never violated the territory and airspace of any sovereign country.” It called claims that China was targeting the United States with an airship surveillance system “information warfare.”

US President Joe Biden was chastised for his handling of the incident, with many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle claiming that the balloon should have been brought down sooner. However, Biden stated that he did not want to destroy the aircraft over land for safety reasons, and that he did not consider the incident to be a major security breach.

The Pentagon also said on Friday that the president had ordered the shooting down of an unidentified high-altitude object near Alaska “out of an abundance of caution.” The department stated that it did not know who owned the object, but that it “posed a reasonable threat to the safety of civilian flight.”