2021-January-17 00:25
World
2021-January-14  11:13

Trump Strengthens Ban on US Investments in China

TEHRAN (FNA)- President Donald Trump has bolstered a ban on US investments in alleged Chinese military companies, according to the White House.

The new directive Trump signed on Wednesday will further restrict Chinese access to American capital markets days before President-elect Joe Biden takes office, presstv reported.

It expands the scope of the executive order Trump issued in November, which only restricted American investors from buying those securities by that date.

Now, American investors have until November 11, 2021 to have completely divested their holdings of securities of firms the Defense Department alleges are owned or controlled by the Chinese military.

“Today’s executive order ensures that the United States retains a key tool to protect US investors from funding Chinese military modernization,” a senior administration official told Reuters.

The decision could aggravate the already strained relations between the world’s two economic powers.

The US and China are currently at loggerheads over a host of issues, including trade, a new security law introduced in Hong Kong, the origins and handling of the COVID-19 disease, Taiwan, and the disputed South China Sea.

In December, Trump added China’s main chipmaker SMIC and national offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC to the list, bringing the total number of companies blacklisted to 35.

The move was part of a broader attempt by the US to hamper what it claims to be Beijing’s efforts to enlist companies to utilize emerging civilian technologies for military purposes.

It was also part of a raft of tough measures against Chinese firms Trump has been taking in his waning days in the White House.

Last week, the Republican president also barred transactions with eight Chinese apps which he claims undermine America’s national security.

Also in August, he signed executive orders to block some US transactions with WeChat and the Chinese-owned video app TikTok. US courts, however, blocked the restrictions mainly on freedom of speech grounds.

Meanwhile, sources say the Trump administration has scrapped plans to blacklist Chinese tech giants Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu.

The plans would have restricted Americans from buying shares of E-commerce giant Alibaba, search engine giant Baidu and video game leader Tencent.

However, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has pushed back, scrapping the plans, four people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Following the decision, Tencent’s American Depositary Receipts rose by 2.9% on Wednesday, while Alibaba’s US-listed shares went up by 4.3%. In Hong Kong on Thursday morning, Alibaba shares jumped 4.5% and Tencent shares added 4.4%.