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U.S. blacklists Chinese drone company, dozens of other Chinese companies

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The United States government has added the massive Chinese drone company SZ DJI Technology Co, the largest in the world, to its economic blacklist alongside a batch of about 80 other Chinese companies, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said Friday morning.

The U.S. Department of Commerce said it was adding DJI, AGCU Scientech, China National Scientific Instruments and Materials, and Kuang-Chi Group because the four companies “enabled wide-scale human rights abuses within China through abusive genetic collection and analysis or high-technology surveillance,” Fox News reports.

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The department also said in some cases the four companies had “facilitated the export of items by China that aid repressive regimes around the world, contrary to U.S. foreign policy interests,” Reuters reports.

Also being added to the list is Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC), China’s foremost chipmaker. Explicitly, SMIC will be barred from acquiring technology to manufacture chips with 10-nanometer circuits and smaller, Ross told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Friday morning.

“What this is all about is these are companies that are tied to the People’s Liberation Army,” said Ross.

“This has to do with is their access to very advanced semiconductor products,” he added.

Further explaining the move, Ross said the blacklist was necessary to “ensure that China, through its national champion SMIC, is not able to leverage U.S. technologies to enable indigenous advanced technology levels to support its destabilizing military activities.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin denounced the U.S. action during a Friday briefing in Beijing.

“We urge the U.S. to stop its wrongful activities cracking down on foreign companies,” he said.

Back in September, the Commerce Department placed SMIC on a different export restrictions list, saying it had conducted a review and concluded that the firm “may pose an unacceptable risk of diversion to a military end use in the People’s Republic of China,” according to Fox News.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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New documents show China trying to establish ‘satellite state’ in Caribbean

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China has been “exploiting a fragile security environment and taking advantage of the region’s need for economic investment to gain influence and advance its malign agenda” in a move that challenges U.S. hegemony in the Americas, U.S. Southern Command Comm. General Laura Richardson recently told Congress in written testimony.

The Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, located about 220 miles from the U.S. Virgin Islands, is where China is planning to establish a special Chinese-run economic zone, according to documents reviewed by Newsweek

Just The News  reports that per the documents, the area will have its own customs and immigration facilities, a shipping port and it will even issue passports. China will also establish different kinds of businesses that will specialize in things from facial surgery to virology, the latter of which is closely associated with the research in Wuhan that is the suspected source of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A spokesperson for SOUTHCOM said that the U.S. military is “aware that China may use its commercial and diplomatic presence for military purposes. In Asia, Africa and the Middle East, China has already abused commercial agreements at host-country ports for military aims; our concern is they may do the same in this region.”

More than two-thirds of the 31 nations under SOUTHCOM’s responsibility have signed onto China’s belt-and-road initiative, which is Beijing’s program to lend money to developing nations to use for infrastructure projects, according to Just The News.

Several nations have had problems with repaying such loans, resulting in Beijing seizing the country’s assets. For example, Sri Lanka struggled to pay back Beijing in 2017 and instead signed off the rights to a strategic port, according to Foreign Policy.

Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Mo., a member of the House Oversight Committee proving China’s incursion inside the U.S. sphere of influence, told Just the News on Monday night that Beijing’s aggression in the Caribbean reminded him of the Soviet’s intervention in Fidel Castro’s Cuba more than a half century earlier.

“It reminds me of Russia’s involvement in Cuba, just 220 miles off the shore of the US Virgin Islands. We have Antigua. It used to be considered the United States back yard. Unfortunately, today, it’s China’s front yard,” Burlison told the “Just the News, No Noise television show. “And China has used the united front to enter into loan agreements and contracts to create trade zones within Antigua in order to gain a foothold into the Caribbean.”

“And this is just part of their efforts around the globe, whether it’s in African countries or Laos. They’re they’re creating a network to try to undermine the U.S. dollar and try to end run around some of our tariffs and other programs,” he warned.

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