(Adds to reflect Chinese comment sought, background)
WASHINGTON, Aug 28 (Reuters) – The Trump administration has determined that another 11 Chinese firms, including construction giant China Communications Construction Company, are owned or controlled by the Chinese military, the Pentagon said on Friday, laying the groundwork for new sanctions.
The Department of Defense earlier this year designated 20 top Chinese firms as Chinese military companies operating directly or indirectly in the United States, including those “owned or controlled” by the People’s Liberation Army that provide commercial services, manufacture, produce or export.
The updated list also included China Three Gorges Corporation Limited, Sinochem Group Co Ltd and China Spacesat.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Pentagon’s designations do not trigger penalties, but a 1999 law that mandates compilation of the list says the president may impose sanctions that could include blocking all property of the listed parties.
The Pentagon has come under pressure from lawmakers of both U.S. political parties to publish the list, amid rising tensions between Washington and Beijing over technology, trade and foreign policy.
The list will likely add to tensions between the world’s two largest economies, which have been at loggerheads over the handling of the coronavirus pandemic and China’s move to impose security legislation on Hong Kong, among multiple points of friction that have worsened this year.
On Wednesday, the United States blacklisted 24 Chinese companies, including China Communications Construction Company, and targeted individuals it said were part of construction and military actions in the South China Sea, the first such U.S. sanctions move against Beijing over the disputed strategic waterway. (Reporting by Mike Stone; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Richard Chang)
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