US blacklists six Chinese entities over spy balloon program | Politics News

The blacklisting will make it more difficult for companies and one research institute to obtain exports of American technology.

The United States has blacklisted six Chinese entities it says are linked to Beijing’s aerospace programs as part of retaliation for an alleged Chinese spy balloon that flew through US airspace.

The move is likely to further escalate a diplomatic row between the US and China that has intensified over the surveillance bubble, which the US eventually dropped last weekend. The US said the balloon was equipped to detect and collect intelligence signals, but Beijing insisted it was a weather craft that had veered off course.

On Friday, the US Office of Industry and Security said six Chinese entities were targeted for “their support of China’s military modernization efforts, particularly the aerospace programs of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), including airships and balloons.”

“PL uses High Altitude Balloons (HAB) for intelligence and reconnaissance activities,” it said.

US Deputy Commerce Secretary Don Graves said on Twitter that his department “will not hesitate to continue to use” such restrictions and other regulatory and enforcement tools “to protect US national security and sovereignty”.

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 Co. Technology Group Co.

The blacklisting will make it more difficult for five companies and one research institute to obtain exports of American technology.

There was no immediate comment from China about the blacklist.

Also Friday, a U.S. military fighter jet shot down an unidentified object flying off the remote north coast of Alaska on orders from President Joe Biden.

The object was shot down because it allegedly posed a threat to the safety of civilian flights, not because of any knowledge that it was engaged in surveillance.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters that a “tall object” was flying at 12,000 meters (40,000 feet) over Alaska, posing a threat to civil aviation.

“We don’t know who owns this object,” Kirby said during a news conference, adding that it was significantly smaller than the Chinese balloon that flew above the ground last week.

“We’re calling this a facility because that’s the best description we have right now,” he said. “We have no information to confirm the stated purpose of this facility.”

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