The U.S. Department of Commerce said on Thursday it had blacklisted China’s state-run oil company CNOOC for helping China intimidate neighbors in the South China Sea, threatening U.S. national security, in yet another move aimed at restricting market access for Chinese companies.
CNOOC was added to the Entity List, a tool utilized by Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) to restrict the export, re-export, and transfer (in-country) of items to persons reasonably believed to be involved, or to pose a significant risk of becoming involved, in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.
According to the Department of Commerce, “CNOOC has repeatedly harassed and threatened offshore oil and gas exploration and extraction in the South China Sea, with the goal of driving up the political risk for interested foreign partners, including Vietnam.”
“CNOOC acts as a bully for the People’s Liberation Army to intimidate China’s neighbors, and the Chinese military continues to benefit from government civil-military fusion policies for malign purposes,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
Alongside CNOOC, the Commerce Department also added Chinese company Skyrizon to the Military End-User (MEU) List, entities that represent an unacceptable risk of use in or diversion to a ‘military end use’ or ‘military end user’ in China, Russia, or Venezuela. Skyrizon is the first company added to the MEU since it was introduced in late 2020.
The Commerce Department’s blacklisting of oil giant CNOOC comes a day after an executive order from U.S. President Donald Trump banning as of November 2021 the holding of shares in any Chinese company defined by the U.S. as having links to the Chinese military, including stock in CNOOC.
After President Trump’s executive order on Wednesday, S&P Dow Jones Indices said that due to the sanctions, it would remove the American Depository Receipts (ADR) of CNOOC and the H shares of the company from the S&P Dow Jones Indices on or before February 1, 2021.