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US imposes visa, export restrictions on Chinese firms involved in South China Sea militarization

The United States government today imposed visa and export restrictions on Chinese individuals and about two dozen China state-owned firms involved in the reclamation and militarization of the South China Sea, including a Beijing-based company that bagged the auction for the construction of an airport in Cavite.

In a statement, US State Secretary Michael Pompeo emphasized that the United States will act until it sees Beijing “discontinue its coercive behavior in the South China Sea” as he vowed to continue to stand with their allies and partners in resisting China’s destabilizing activity.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (AFP Photo/ File photo / MANILA BULLETIN)
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
(AFP Photo / File photo / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Today, the Department of State will begin imposing visa restrictions on People’s Republic of China (PRC) individuals responsible for, or complicit in, either the large-scale reclamation, construction, or militarization of disputed outposts in the South China Sea, or the PRC’s use of coercion against Southeast Asian claimants to inhibit their access to offshore resources,” Pompeo said in the statement posted on the State Department’s official website.

According to Pompeo, the said individuals will now be “inadmissible” to the US and their immediate family members may be subjected to similar restrictions.

As for the China state-owned firms, he said the US Department of Commerce has added 24 China state-owned enterprises to the Entity List, including several subsidiaries of China Communications Construction Co. (CCCC).

The Entity List is a tool used by the US Commerce Department to restrict the export, re-export, and transfer (in-country) of items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to persons (individuals, organizations, companies) reasonably believed to be involved or to pose a significant risk of becoming involved, in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.

Pompeo claimed that the CCCC, along with other state-owned companies, led the destructive dredging of Beijing’s South China Sea outposts since 2013 and is also one of the leading contractors being utilized by China in its Belt and Road global strategy.

 “CCCC and its subsidiaries have engaged in corruption, predatory financing, environmental destruction, and other abuses across the world,” Pompeo said.

Last year, the CCCC, in partnership with Philippine-based Macroasia Corp., won the $10-billion expansion of the Sangley Point International Airport.

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