In another action sure to escalate tensions between the United States and China, the Trump administration moved earlier this week to block American companies from exporting high-tech equipment to eight Chinese firms whose products are allegedly being used in the video surveillance of Muslim minorities in western China.
Twenty Chinese government agencies were also put on the same Bureau of Industry and Security “Entities List” for their involvement in “human rights violations and abuses in the implementation of China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.”
“The U.S. government cannot and will not tolerate the brutal suppression of ethnic minorities within China,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement, vowing that the action “will ensure that our technologies, fostered in an environment of individual liberty and free enterprise, are not used to repress defenseless minority populations.”
The decision to blacklist the companies, which has been under consideration for months, was formalized in a Federal Register notice published just days ahead of officials from Washington and Beijing meeting or their 13th round of trade talks set to take place later this week.
For the 28 commercial and government entities involved, BIS is imposing a license requirement for exports of all items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and a license review policy of case-by-case review for the following:
- Export Control Classification Numbers 1A004.c, 1A004.d, 1A995, 1A999.a, 1D003, 2A983, 2D983, and 2E983 and
- Items designated as EAR99 that are described in the note to ECCN 1A995, specifically, items for protection against chemical or biological agents that are consumer goods, packaged for retail sale or personal use, or medical products.
- For all other items subject to the EAR, BIS is adopting a license review policy of presumption of denial.
These requirements apply to any transaction in which items are to be exported, reexported, or transferred (in-country) to any of these entities or in which they act as purchaser, intermediate consignee, ultimate consignee, or end-user. In addition, no license exceptions are available for exports, reexports, or transfers (in-country) to these entities.
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