March 31, 2023

United States President Joe Biden speaks during a commemoration ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre at the Greenwood Cultural Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 1, 2021.

Almond Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Thursday expanded restrictions on American investments in certain Chinese companies with alleged links to the country’s military and surveillance efforts, adding more companies to a growing blacklist.

In an executive order, Biden banned US investors fearing ties to the Chinese government’s geopolitical ambitions, continuing some of the tough tactics ex-President Donald Trump followed in talks with Beijing.

“This EO enables the United States to specifically and enrichingly prohibit US investments in Chinese companies that undermine the security or democratic values ​​of the United States and our allies,” a White House press release said.

The move will prevent US dollars from supporting the “Chinese defense sector” while expanding the US government’s ability to counter the threat posed by Chinese surveillance technology firms that – both inside and outside of China – monitor religious or ethnic minorities contribute to or otherwise facilitate repression and serious human rights violations, “added the government.

The 59 excluded companies include Aero Engine Corp. of China, Aerosun Corp., Fujian Torch Electron Technology and Huawei Technologies.

The bans go into effect on August 2 at 00:01 a.m. ET.

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The move is one of the strongest yet against its leading U.S. rival, and yet another sign that the Biden administration could adopt or advance many of the Trump administration’s tactics to stay competitive with China.

Biden and his economic advisors also need to decide what to do with a range of tariffs and whether to increase sanctions against Chinese officials involved in the mass incarceration of mainly Muslim ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region.

A representative from the Chinese State Department challenged the move by the Biden administration, telling press officials that the Trump administration’s original order was carried out “in complete disregard for the facts.”

“The US should respect the rule of law and the market, correct its mistakes and stop actions that undermine the global financial market order and the legitimate rights and interests of investors,” said spokesman Wang Wenbin to reporters in Beijing.

The previous order of the Trump administration created a list of 48 companies.