The Ministry of Defense said in a statement that it was “determined to highlight and confront” the relationship between the Chinese army and companies that “appear to be civilian entities” but support the army with advanced technology and expertise.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNN Business. But Beijing had previously criticized Washington for its actions and said it would take “necessary measures” to protect the interests of Chinese companies.
“CNOOC is acting as a bully for the People’s Liberation Army to intimidate China’s neighbors,” Commerce Minister Wilbur Ross said in a statement, referring to the country’s military. His agency claimed that CNOOC was harassing and threatening offshore oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea.
CNN Business contacted Xiaomi, CNOOC, Comac and other companies added to the US government listings on Thursday, but has not received a response yet.
These moves are the latest in a series of actions taken by the Trump administration against Beijing in the weeks leading up to Biden’s inauguration, and could complicate relations between the United States and China for the next government.
Before Thursday, the Pentagon had already added 35 Chinese companies to its military list, including chip maker SMIC and tech company Huawei. The Ministry of Commerce also imposed restrictions on several companies. (SMIC has denied having a relationship with the Chinese military, while Huawei has denied various US claims that it is a national security risk.)