Biden blocking 59 Chinese firms in amended Trump order will ‘lift a rock only to drop it on its own feet’: experts
Published: Jun 04, 2021 09:47 AM
China US Photo:GT

China US Photo:GT

 The Biden administration is seeking a more comprehensive and in-depth strategy to compete with China, Chinese experts said, after US President Joe Biden blocks 59 Chinese companies in amended Trump order on Thursday, but warned that such move will "lift a rock only to drop it on its own feet in the end."

Biden signed an order Thursday amending a ban on US investment in Chinese companies begun under his predecessor, naming 59 firms with ties to China's military or in the surveillance industry, including Huawei Technologies and the country's three biggest telecommunications companies, according to Bloomberg.

The ban on new investments will take effect August 2. Investors will have one year to divest.

It is the most sweeping executive order targeting Chinese entities since Biden took the office although there have been scattered sanctions previously.

"Biden is not only maintaining but also expanding policies on Chinese firms in his predecessor's period, and one of the current aims is seeking a more comprehensive and in-depth strategy to compete with China," Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Friday.

The move, a political operation at the costs of economic interests, has strong "symbolic" meaning like an indicator for allies that the US deems as, Li said. "It's like showing the US stance toward its allies."

However, the broader ban will surely "lift a rock only to drop it on its own feet in the end" for the US government, because it will cause bigger losses for US firms and investors that have close cooperation with entities on the list, Li noted.

Biden's move came on the heels of China and the US restarting more regular communications addressing economic recovery and trade, agreeing on joint efforts to solve several specific problems in a practical way.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He held a virtual meeting with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Wednesday, which followed a phone call between Liu and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai just six days earlier, on May 27.

China's Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday that China and the US have started "normal communication" in the economic and trade fields, and will work together to solve "specific problems" in a practical manner for producers and consumers.

This latest development shows that the escalating tech war between China and the US will not change under the Biden administration, Tian Yun, former vice director of the Beijing Economic Operation Association, told the Global Times on Friday.

"Many of the companies in Biden's order were already on the Trump administration's list, and the new list has more symbolic meaning than practical significance to win the support of trump voters," Tian added.

Chinese observers said one of the Biden administration's current goals is to develop a more comprehensive and strategic rivalry with China to contain China's development and enhance its economic and scientific power.

The US government's efforts to undermine Chinese companies' economic and technological development will not work and its plan will only cause losses for US companies and investors, Chinese observers said.

China on Thursday vowed to take necessary measures to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies, in response to media reports that Biden plans to add more Chinese companies on a blacklist created by his predecessor.

Wang Wenbin, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said that China will take necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies and firmly support them to protect their own rights in accordance with the law, while urging the US to stop taking measures that damage the global financial market order and hurt investors' interests.

The previous US administration imposed an investment ban on so-called "Chinese military-related enterprises" for political purposes, which completely ignored the facts and reality while seriously damaging regular market order and harmed the legitimate rights and interests of not only Chinese companies but also the interests of global investors, including US investors, Wang said.