MANILA, Philippines — The United States has urged governments, parties and institutions around the world to assess the risk and reconsider business deals with “predatory” Chinese state-owned enterprises.
In a special press briefing through teleconference on Thursday, but whose trancription was released only yesterday, a senior official of the US State Department said the blacklisting of Chinese companies and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s announcement on the imposition of visa restrictions on Chinese individuals are in line with the new US policy on Chinese maritime claims in the South China Sea.
The State Department asked journalists to refer to the speaker only as “a senior official.”
“We aligned ourselves strongly with the 2016 international arbitral tribunal ruling on the South China Sea case between China and the Philippines, and we stated last month that Beijing is pursuing unlawful maritime claims across the South China Sea,” the official said.
“We made this clarification to strengthen our support for Southeast Asian coastal states in upholding their sovereign rights, and to reflect our deep concern over the increasingly brazen manner in which Beijing has deployed coercive tactics to inhibit other claimants’ access to offshore marine resources,” he added.
China, he added, has pursued environmentally destructive land reclamation and militarization of disputed outposts that have done irreparable damage to coral reefs.
Beijing also used these platforms in the South China Sea to coerce its neighbors and expand its maritime militia, he said. “These actions are provocative and destabilizing.”
“In the case of Mischief Reef and the Spratly Islands, which was determined by the 2016 arbitral tribunal ruling to be within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and on its continental shelf, Beijing’s development there – its building and militarization – is a violation of the Philippines’ sovereign rights and jurisdiction under the Law of the Sea Convention,” the official stressed.
Washington noted that Beijing’s state-owned enterprises have played a key role in building and militarizing key outposts.
“The US firmly opposes these efforts, and we are taking actions to make clear that further militarization and coercion is unacceptable and entirely contrary to the interests of China’s neighbors and the United States and the world,” the official said.
The US Commerce Department announced that it added 24 of Beijing’s state-owned enterprises, including subsidiaries of the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), to the entity list for their role in the South China Sea activities.
According to the official, CCCC, which led the dredging in the South China Sea, is also one of the leading contractors used by Beijing in its global “One Belt One Road” strategy.
“Beijing has been trampling on the sovereign rights of its neighbors in the South China Sea with respect to access to marine resources and the like,” the official said. “