A jet flies by a suspected Chinese spy balloon as it floats off the coast of Surfside Beach, South Carolina

US Imposes Trade Restrictions on Dozens of Chinese Companies Over 2023 Spy Balloon Incident

In a move escalating tensions between Beijing and Washington, the Biden administration has placed trade restrictions on 37 Chinese entities, including some allegedly linked to the suspected spy balloon incident that occurred over the United States last year.

The Commerce Department announced on Thursday that it was adding certain units of China Electronics Technology Group to the list, citing accusations of attempting to acquire American technology to bolster China’s quantum technology capabilities. This move comes amid concerns about the military applications of such technology and its potential impact on US national security.

China Electronics Technology Group, identified as a major military equipment supplier, has yet to respond to the allegations. Similarly, the Chinese embassy in Washington has not provided immediate comments on the matter.

The latest measures signal the Biden administration’s ongoing response to the spy balloon incident, which stirred political uproar in Washington in February 2023. The Commerce Department had previously added five companies and one research institute to the entity list for their alleged support of China’s military modernization efforts, particularly aerospace programs involving airships and balloons.

While China’s Foreign Ministry insisted that the balloon was merely a weather-related incident, Washington’s reaction led to the cancellation of Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s scheduled trip to China.

The entity list, a trade restriction mechanism, has been a key tool for the US in controlling the export of technology to China, citing concerns over its potential military applications.

The latest additions to the list make it more challenging for US suppliers to conduct business with the targeted Chinese entities. Additionally, the Biden administration included several Chinese companies on the list for attempting to acquire American items for drone manufacturing, intended for use by the Chinese military, and for shipping controlled items to Russia.

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