Beijing Criticizes New US Sanctions on Companies Over Pilot Training, Weapons Development

China on Tuesday criticized new sanctions imposed by the United States on companies believed to be involved in training Chinese military pilots and aiding weapons development.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin urged Washington to “stop abusing export control measures” to hobble Chinese companies.

“The United States has repeatedly overstretched the concept of national security, abused state power, unwarrantedly suppressed Chinese companies, and wantonly disrupted the international economic order and trade rules,” Wang said at a daily briefing in Beijing. “It has reached a level of unscrupulous hysteria.”

China “demands that the U.S. immediately correct its wrong practice of politicizing, instrumentalizing, and weaponizing economic, trade, and sci-tech issues with a pretext of human rights or military-related issues,” Wang said.

On Monday, the U.S. government placed 43 “entities” on an export control list over national security and foreign policy concerns. The list includes both Chinese and foreign companies.

Among those listed were Frontier Services Group Ltd., a security and aviation company previously run by Blackwater founder Erik Prince, and Test Flying Academy of South Africa, a flight school under scrutiny by British authorities for hiring retired British military pilots to train Chinese fliers.

The companies are barred from receiving U.S. exports for activities deemed contrary to U.S. national interest.

Other companies were sanctioned for aiding development of China’s hypersonic weapons and the modernization of its army, the Commerce Department aid.

Two companies — Beijing Ryan Wende Science and Technology Co. Ltd. and Xinjiang Kehua Hechang Biological Science and Technology Co. Ltd. — were added for allegedly supplying items that helped the Chinese government monitor Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities. The U.S. has imposed several rounds of sanctions and import curbs over the past three years on companies believed to be aiding Beijing’s crackdown on ethnic minorities in its western Xinjiang region.

While the two countries spar over national security and human rights issues, they are also working to keep lines of communication open to avoid an accidental conflict.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected in Beijing later this week, in a visit previously postponed due to an alleged Chinese spy balloon that traveled across U.S. territory in February.

– Simina Mistreanu, AP News

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