The US Commerce Department is restricting six Chinese companies tied to the Chinese army’s aerospace programs from obtaining US technology without government authorization.
The move comes after a Chinese balloon suspected of carrying out surveillance flew over the US last week, raising political tensions between the world’s two largest economies.
US fighter jets shot down the balloon, which American officials have since claimed is part of an extensive surveillance program run by the Chinese military.
The six companies support the Chinese government’s “modernization efforts, specifically those related to aerospace programs, including airships and balloons and related materials and components, that are used by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) for intelligence and reconnaissance,” the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security said in a statement.
The six companies are: Beijing Nanjiang Aerospace Technology; China Electronics Technology Group Corporation 48th Research Institute; Dongguan Lingkong Remote Sensing Technology; Eagles Men Aviation Science and Technology Group; Guangzhou Tian-Hai-Xiang Aviation Technology; and Shanxi Eagles Men Aviation Science and Technology Group.
The inclusion of the companies on the Commerce Department’s “Entity List,” sends “a clear message to companies, governments, and other stakeholders globally that the entities on the list present a threat to national security,” the statement said.