Trump's latest crackdown on Chinese companies including CNOOC is his 'final frenzy'
Published: Jan 15, 2021 05:02 PM

Trump Photo:VCG

Chinese analysts said the Trump administration's latest crackdown against Chinese companies is his "final frenzy," and in his waning less than five days, he is trying to create hurdles to hamstring the incoming Biden administration's China policy.

The analysts also said that the coming administration will not accept such a legacy, as each government will maximize its own interests, and it is believed Biden will take China"as a challenge instead of a threat." 

That comment came after Trump administration on Thursday labeled China, Iran, Russia, Cuba and North Korea as foreign adversaries as part of a new set of rules aimed at protecting the US telecoms supply chain.

The rules, which implement an executive order that US President Donald Trump signed in May 2019, will go into effect 60 days after publication.

Also, the US Department of Commerce (DOC) said on Thursday that it has added two Chinese companies - Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and aviation firm Skyrizon - to two separate blacklists.

In a statement on its website, the US DOC said that it has added CNOOC to its so-called entity list and Skyrizon to its military end-user list, accusing the Chinese companies of threatening US national security - a claim that Chinese officials have repeatedly refuted. By including these companies on the blacklists, US companies will likely be prevented from supplying to and investing in them.

"The crackdown is Trump's final frenzy, as such a move has no legal or factual basis. He continues to do more that will bring more negative effects for the US government; such behavior will not be recognized by any experienced politician," Huo Jianguo, vice chairman of the China Society for World Trade Organization Studies, told the Global Times on Friday. 

Trump is hurting his influence, not hesitating to damage the greater influence of the US and its awareness of the rules of the law, Huo added.

The latest moves by the US commerce department comes just less than five days before Trump is to be replaced by President-elect Joe Biden and follow a series of similar actions against Chinese firms in recent days, ahead of the transition of power.

The three fresh hostile moves by the Trump administration build on the addition of more than 300 Chinese firms to its export blacklist over Trump's tenure.

Also on Thursday, the US imposed new sanctions on Chinese officials it deemed linked to the South China Sea dispute.

Referencing CNOOC, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced visa restrictions on individuals, including "executives of state-owned enterprises and officials of the Chinese Communist Party and People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, responsible for, or complicit in, either the large-scale reclamation, construction, or militarization of disputed outposts" in the South China Sea, according to

Chinese businesses threatened by the blacklist include artificial intelligence firms such as SenseTime, chipmaking giant SMIC and drone maker DJI, with Xiaomi and COMAC among the latest additions.

In another "final frenzy" move, the US Department of Defense (DOD) on Thursday classified nine Chinese companies, including phone-maker Xiaomi and aircraft manufacturer COMAC as "Communist Chinese military companies."

The government last week also forced the New York Stock Exchange to delist three Chinese telecommunication companies - China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, accusing the companies of having ties with the Chinese military.

"That crazy behavior is Trump taking what he can take to create hurdles ahead of the coming Biden team, but what Biden will continue is limited," Bai Ming, deputy director of the Ministry of Commerce's International Market Research Institute, told the Global Times Friday. 

Bai said that the Biden team will take China as a challenge instead of a threat, which means there is some room for cooperation for the two giant economies instead of the recent crackdown. 

Biden's team is about to clean up the negative impacts [these policies] have had on the US government, but if not, it will make the road ahead very bumpy, especially for US and China relations. The key is to see how Biden clears up the mess, Huo added.  

Commenting on the US latest crackdown, Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, harshly criticized the US move, said the Trump administration has generalized the concept of national security, abused national power and repeatedly suppressed Chinese companies for no reason.

China will take necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises and support them in protecting their rights and interests in accordance with the law, Zhao noted. 

President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday evening launched a $1.9 trillion emergency legislative package to fund a nationwide vaccination effort and provide direct economic relief to Americans amid the pandemic, telling Americans that "the health of our nation is at stake," according to CNN.