US blacklists Chinese individuals, firms for South China Sea work
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The United States on Wednesday announced sanctions and restrictions on two dozen Chinese companies and associated officials for taking part in building artificial islands in disputed waters in the South China Sea.
The move was the latest step in Washington's efforts to pressure Beijing over its military buildup in areas of the South China Sea where sovereignty is contested by several countries.
"Since 2013, the PRC (People's Republic of China) has used its state-owned enterprises to dredge and reclaim more than 3,000 acres on disputed features in the South China Sea, destabilizing the region, trampling on the sovereign rights of its neighbors, and causing untold environmental devastation," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.
The 24 companies were placed on the Commerce Department's "Entity List" which allows it to block exports of US goods and materials to them.
The names of the individuals were not made available.