US urged to stop abusing 'state power' in crackdown on Chinese firms
By Wang Cong Source: Global Times Published: 2020/12/4 13:51:10 Last Updated: 2020/12/4 21:20:50
China's Foreign Ministry on Friday harshly criticized the latest decision by the US to blacklist four Chinese companies, including leading chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), saying it violates international trade rules and will hurt the US' national interests and image.
Asked about the US Defense Department's blacklisting of four Chinese companies, Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for the ministry, said that "the US' actions are in serious violation of what the US has long proclaimed as market competition principles and international trade rules."
Hua further called on the US to stop abusing its "state power" and over-generalizing the concept of national security to crack down on Chinese companies.
The US Department of Defense on Thursday added SMIC and three other Chinese companies - China Construction Technology Co., China International Engineering Consulting Corp. and China National Offshore Oil Corporation - to a list of companies it deems to have so-called links to the Chinese military.
While the blacklisting of the four companies does not result in any immediate, specific actions against them, earlier policies issued by the Trump administration would prevent US investors from buying stocks of the listed companies starting in 2021, according to media reports.
In a statement on Friday, SMIC said that the US' blacklisting would not result in any major impacts on its operations and denied US allegations over its relationship with the Chinese military.
Following the news, SMIC's Hong Kong-listed shares plunged by 2.25 percent in early morning trading before trading was suspended. Share trading resumed in the afternoon, losing 5.41 percent at market close. The company's shares on the Chinese mainland also fell by 3.31 percent on Friday.
In a separate statement on Friday morning, SMIC said it was still evaluating any potential impacts of the move on its operations and urged investors to be aware of potential risks when investing in the company's stocks.
SMIC has repeatedly denied US allegations over its relationship with the Chinese military. "The company has no relationship with the Chinese military and does not manufacture for any military end-users or end-uses," it said in a statement sent to the Global Times last week.
CNOOC also said in a statement on Friday afternoon that the company was conducting a "comprehensive evaluation" of potential impacts of the blacklisting on the company and it would closely monitor any future developments.
"This is just another example that certain 'radical elements' within the US government are using the last days of the Trump administration to crack down on Chinese companies in a crazy manner; not just to attack China, but actually to make trouble for the incoming administration," Mei Xinyu, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told the Global Times on Friday.
In addition to the blacklisting of the four Chinese companies by the US Defense Department, the US Congress passed a legislation that could push out several Chinese companies from the US stock exchanges. The legislation is waiting for a signature from Trump.
Also on Friday, US media outlet AXIOS reported that the US Department of Commerce has drafted a plan to restrict US providers from doing business in certain countries (like China) and ban US consumers from using cloud services provided by companies from certain countries.
"I feel all of these may be aimed at China but they actually punish US businesses and consumers, because these actions will hurt Chinese companies as much as the US' own interests," Mei said.
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