The U.S. moved Friday to blacklist six Chinese entities it said were linked to the nation’s aerospace programs as part of retaliation over an alleged Chinese spy balloon that traveled across multiple states before being shot down.
The six entities are Beijing Nanjiang Aerospace Technology Co., China Electronics Technology Group Corporation 48th Research Institute, Dongguan Lingkong Remote Sensing Technology Co., Eagles Men Aviation Science and Technology Group Co., Guangzhou Tian-Hai-Xiang Aviation Technology Co. and Shanxi Eagles Men Aviation Science and Technology Group Co.
The economic restrictions will make it more difficult for the five companies and one research institute to obtain U.S. tech exports.
The U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security said in a press release that the six groups were being targeted for “for supporting the PRC’s military modernization efforts, specifically those related to aerospace programs, including airships and balloons and related materials and components, that are used by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) for intelligence and reconnaissance.”
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The bureau said that the decision protects U.S. national security and sends a “clear message to companies, governments and other stakeholders globally that the entities on the list present a threat to national security.”
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“The PRC’s use of high-altitude balloons violates our sovereignty and threatens U.S. national security,” Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security Alan Estevez said in a statement. “Today’s action makes clear that entities that seek to harm U.S. national security and sovereignty will be cut off from accessing U.S. technologies.”
The action is likely to heighten tensions between the U.S. and China after the balloon’s downing last weekend.
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While the U.S. said that the balloon had been equipped to detect and collect intelligence signals, China asserted that it was a weather craft that was blown off course.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.