U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order Thursday expanding a Trump-era list of Chinese companies blacklisted for their alleged ties to the country’s military.
The executive order listed 59 companies sanctioned for their links to Beijing’s “military-industrial complex.”
Former President Donald Trump’s list from November 2020 targeted 31 Chinese companies in the telecom, construction and technology industries.
Biden’s updated list includes companies involved in surveillance technology, which the White House has said is used to “facilitate repression or serious human rights abuses” that “undermine the security or democratic values of the United States and our allies.”
“The E.O. the president is signing today will: solidify and strengthen a previous E.O to prohibit U.S. investments in the military-industrial complex of the People’s Republic of China,” a statement from the White House read.
The fact sheet said the order would take effect on the listed companies August 2.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio called the sanctions “important” updates to the Trump administration policy but said that he feared the current Treasury Department was too close to Wall Street to prevent “American savings from being used to fund the Chinese Communist Party.”
— Senator Rubio Press (@SenRubioPress) June 3, 2021
Upon taking office, Biden pledged to bring multilateralism back to U.S. foreign policy, a pivot from the America First doctrine under Trump, who was particularly outspoken against China.
But Thursday’s announcement is the latest round of sanctions against China the Biden administration has announced since January. In March, the U.S., along with the European Union and Britain, imposed sanctions on several Chinese officials for human rights abuses against the Muslim Uyghur minority in China’s Xinjiang province.