TAIPEI – U.S. curbs against Chinese officials and companies suspected of helping Beijing extend its reach in a disputed, resource-rich Asian sea will do little to reduce China’s maritime influence and could indirectly increase it, analysts believe.
The government of outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday announced a ban on travel to the United States by officials in the military, the ruling Communist Party and major state-owned enterprises. Washington believes they have used coercion on countries with claims to the 3.5 million-square-kilometer South China Sea.
In December the U.S. government placed 60 Chinese companies, including offshore oil giant CNOOC, on a trade blacklist that stops them from receiving certain types of American technology. Last week Washington barred American investors from holding shares in nine Chinese firms with suspected ties to The People’s Liberation Army, including the world’s third biggest smartphone developer, Xiaomi.
These penalties, along with others that the Trump administration has used to stop Chinese maritime activities, will hardly dislodge Beijing from the disputed sea, scholars say. They say the targeted people and companies can keep drilling for oil, supplying the military and building infrastructure in the tropical waterway.
Source: Voice of America