China Shipbuilding Group is among 24 Chinese companies and individuals to be blacklisted by the United States for its role in developing infrastructure in contested areas of the South China Sea.
The US Commerce Department said on Wednesday the group, currently the largest shipbuilder in the world, and 23 other Chinese entities played a “role in helping the Chinese military construct and militarise the internationally condemned artificial islands in the South China Sea”.
“[South China Sea Islands are] an integral part of China’s territory, and it is fully justified for us to build facilities and deploy necessary defence equipment there,” a spokesperson for China’s embassy in Washington, DC said yesterday.
The Commerce Department has added the 24 firms to its entity list, which restricts sales of US goods shipped to them and some more limited items made abroad with US content or technology.
China Shipbuilding Group was formed last year with the merger between state-backed shipyard groups, CSIC and CSSC.
The sanctions development comes as news filters in of China launching a number of missiles into the South China Sea yesterday morning.
Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam all lay claim to parts of the South China Sea that China says its own sovereign territory.