The U.S. Department of Commerce issued an order this Aug. 23 to remove the export permits of seven Chinese companies and academic entities for national security and foreign policy reasons.

The Chinese companies and entities are related to aerospace research in the United States. According to a report published in the Federal Register, this is the list of excluded entities:

  1. China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) 9th Academy 771 Research Institute.
  2. China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) 9th Academy 772 Research Institute
  3. China Academy of Space Technology 502 Research Institute
  4. China Academy of Space Technology 513 Research Institute
  5. China Electronics Technology Group Corporation 43 Research Institute
  6. China Electronics Technology Group Corporation 58 Research Institute
  7. Zhuhai Orbita Control Systems.

The U.S. Department of Commerce disclosed in an official statement that the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, China Academy of Space Technology, and China Electronics Technology Corporation have close ties to the Communist regime. And that these entities “obtain and attempt to procure U.S.-origin products in support of China’s armed forces in pursuit of modernizing its military.”

These new additions to the blacklist bring the exclusion of Chinese companies and institutions to 600 entities, with more than 100 added during the Biden Administration.

“U.S. technologies that support space and aerospace activities should not be used to support the military modernization of the People’s Republic of China. We are constantly monitoring these sectors for evidence of leaks,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security Alan Estevez.

In addition, the Commerce Department added 31 entities from Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Lithuania, Pakistan, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam to the blacklist.

More Chinese companies implicated

According to publicly available information, two entities that were blacklisted, China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation and China Technology Group, are part of the Chinese Communist Party’s top ten military corporations.

These ten military corporations are directly funded and managed by China’s State Council. They assume the functions of production and operation of China’s major national defense construction projects, as well as national defense scientific research and production. Also, they provide the Chinese military with various weapons and equipment development, production, and operation activities.

According to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) website, CASC was independently established in 1999. However, it traces its origins back to 1956, when the Ministry of National Defense created the former China Aerospace Corporation. CASC is the prime contractor for the Chinese Space Program. It is primarily engaged in developing aerospace technology, such as launch vehicles, various satellites, spacecraft, space probes and space stations. In addition, it also develops strategic and tactical missiles for research, design, production, test, and launch services for weapon systems.

In November 2020, then-U.S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order. The order banned U.S. companies and individuals from holding stock in companies that the U.S. Department of Defense has listed as linked to the People’s Liberation Army, which included CASC.

“China is increasingly exploiting U.S. capital to resource and enable the development and modernization of its military, intelligence, and security apparatus, which continues to enable China to directly threaten U.S. homeland territory and U.S. forces abroad, including through the development and deployment of weapons of mass destruction, advanced conventional weapons, and malicious cyber-enabled actions against the United States and its people;” the order issued by the White House read.

In the middle of this year, the Biden Administration added five Chinese companies to the foreign trade blacklist for their ties to the Russian government, allegedly for collaborating with the Russian military. The companies are Connec Electronic Ltd, Hong Kong-based World Jetta, Logistics Limited, King Pai Technology Co., and Winninc Electronic.

The Commerce Department also accused China’s largest wire and cable manufacturer, Far East Cable, of violating export rules and collaborating with Chinese company ZTE’s shipment of equipment to the Iranian regime. 

The allegations against Far East Cable resulted from an investigation opened into ZTE, a Chinese telecommunications equipment company, in 2012. ZTE eventually reached a series of agreements with the U.S. government and admitted to violating export control regulations and sanctions on Iran.

Investigations revealed in 2014 that Far East Cable took ZTE contracts, acted as a middleman, and delivered U.S. technologies to Iran to cover up ZTE’s role in the transactions.

Chinese companies acquire U.S. land

The Chinese firm Fufeng Group purchased 300 acres of land in North Dakota, just 20 minutes away from a U.S. Air Force base that houses sensitive drone technology.

Recently, CNN reported that Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications company, purchased land near a U.S. military base where it placed a telecommunications tower capable of jamming internal U.S. military communications.

An FBI investigation concluded that the equipment installed on Huawei’s telecommunication towers was indeed capable of capturing and disrupting highly sensitive Department of Defense communications. Including those used by the U.S. Strategic Command, which oversees the country’s nuclear weapons.

In this regard, the Federal Communications Commission banned using Huawei and other Chinese-brand equipment, ordering the decommissioning of all facilities in the United States. 

In 2020, Congress approved a $1.9 billion budget to eliminate Chinese-made Huawei and ZTE equipment in rural areas of the United States.   

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