U.S. imposes sanctions on Chinese enterprises and executives active in South China Sea

Increasing China’s troubles, the United States has imposed a set of visa and export restrictions against Chinese state-owned enterprises and executives involved in advancing Beijing’s territorial claims in the disputed South China Sea.
These restrictions by the US Department of State apply to various state-owned firms, including subsidiaries of China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), a leading contractor for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
“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. These individuals will now be inadmissible into the United States, and their immediate family members may be subject to these visa restrictions as well,” a press statement by the US Department of State said.
In addition, the statement said, the Department of Commerce has added 24 PRC state-owned enterprises to the Entity List, including several subsidiaries of China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) for their role in helping the Chinese military construct and militarize the internationally condemned artificial islands in the South China Sea.
“Since 2013, the PRC has used its state-owned enterprises to dredge and reclaim more than 3,000 acres on disputed features in the South China Sea, destabilizing the region, trampling on the sovereign rights of its neighbours, and causing untold environmental devastation,” the statement read.
The State and Commerce Departments further said that CCCC led the “destructive dredging” of the PRC’s South China Sea outposts and is also one of the leading contractors used by Beijing in its global “One Belt One Road” strategy. “CCCC and its subsidiaries have engaged in corruption, predatory financing, environmental destruction, and other abuses across the world,” it said.
“The PRC must not be allowed to use CCCC and other state-owned enterprises as weapons to impose an expansionist agenda. The United States will act until we see Beijing discontinue its coercive behavior in the South China Sea, and we will continue to stand with allies and partners in resisting this destabilizing activity,” the statement added.
Despite protests from the United States and other countries, the government of the PRC has been rapidly building artificial islands since 2013, enabling the Communist Chinese Party’s (CCP) militarization of disputed outposts in the South China Sea to undermine the sovereign rights of U.S. partners in the region.
“The United States, China’s neighbors, and the international community have rebuked the CCP’s sovereignty claims to the South China Sea and have condemned the building of artificial islands for the Chinese military,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
He further said, “The entities designated have played a significant role in China’s provocative construction of these artificial islands and must be held accountable.”