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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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Taiwan President Confirms US Troops Are In The Country To Help Protect Against China

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China Military

During a CNN interview on Wednesday, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen confirmed that U.S. troops were on the ground in Taiwan to assist in strengthening the country’s defenses as the threat from China is “increasing every day.”

Tsai told CNN’s Will Ripley that the situation has gone south in recent years as “China’s plan towards the region” has become “very different.”

“That plan includes war threats over Taiwan, clashes with Japan and the East China Sea and militarizing manmade islands in the South China Sea, posing a direct challenge to seven decades of U.S. military supremacy in the Indo-Pacific,” Ripley said. “In response, the U.S. ramped up arms sales to Taiwan, selling the island $5 billion in weapons last year. President Tsai confirms exclusively to CNN, U.S. support goes beyond selling weapons. Does that support include sending some U.S. service members to help train Taiwanese troops?”

“Well, yes,” Tsai responded. “We have a wide range of cooperation with the U.S., aiming at increasing our defense capability.”

Later in the interview, Ripley asked, “Do you have faith that the United States would defend Taiwan if the Mainland were to try to move on Taiwan?”

“I do have faith, and given the long-term relationship that we have the U.S. and also the support the people of the U.S., as well as the Congress, and the administration has been very helpful,” Tsai said, later adding that Taiwan needs to “expedite our military reform so that we have the ability to defend ourselves. And given the size of Taiwan compared to the size of [China], developing asymmetric capability is the key for us.”

Tsai’s comments come a few weeks after China sent over 150 military planes into Taiwanese air space, the largest incursion ever by the Communist country.

“The defense of Taiwan is in our own hands, and we are absolutely committed to that,” Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told ABC Australia in response to China’s aggression.

“If China is going to launch a war against Taiwan we will fight to the end, and that is our commitment. I’m sure that if China is going to launch an attack against Taiwan, I think they are going to suffer tremendously as well.”

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