Commerce Dept blacklists 37 entities over ties to China, Iran military modernization
Entities in China flagged for supporting PRC's military, including through 'brain-control weaponry'
The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) took action Thursday to counter efforts by 37 entities to bolster the modernization of China and Iran’s military capabilities.
Institutes and corporations were flagged for their efforts in assisting the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in deploying biotechnology and other security developments "for military applications and human rights abuses."
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"The PRC is choosing to use these technologies to pursue control over its people and its repression of members of ethnic and religious minority groups," Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said. "We cannot allow U.S. commodities, technologies, and software that support medical science and biotechnical innovation to be diverted toward uses contrary to U.S. national security."
The entities have landed themselves on the BIS "Entity List" for the threat they pose to U.S. national security and foreign policy interests – meaning they will be subject to trade restrictions.
In a rule announced by BIS Thursday – that will be made public in the federal registrar Friday – roughly a dozen research institutes for the Academy of Military Medical Sciences in China were found to "use biotechnology processes to support Chinese military," including through "purported brain-control weaponry."
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Other companies and institutes were found to have supported China’s military modernization and have attempted to acquire U.S. origin items in support of its military modernization.
The U.S. has condemned human rights abuses inflicted on ethnic minority groups, particularly among the Uyghur population in Xinjiang, as genocide.
China has repeatedly denied carrying out abuses like forced labor, sterilization and wrongful detainment.
Entities operating out of the PRC, Georgia, Malaysia, and Turkey were also flagged for their support in aiding or attempting to aid Iran’s military programs.
Several companies were added to the U.S.’s trade blacklist for their attempts to "supply U.S-origin items that could provide material support to Iran’s advanced conventional weapons and missile programs."
The "Entity List" is a tool utilized by the federal government as a way to regulate those who are known or suspected of posing a risk to U.S. interests.
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Each entity or individual is subject to Export Administration Regulations (EAR) which means unless an entity can make a strong case for how they will not harm U.S. interests, their license application for export will likely be denied by the U.S. government.
The tool has become a strategic policy move to counter China in the tech feud and trade war that has ensued since the Trump administration.