US eases ban on security investments that finance Chinese military companies

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The Biden administration has reversed Trump-era restrictions and reauthorized most US investments in companies owned or controlled by the Chinese military, according to a Treasury Department notice.

In mid-November, then-President Donald Trump signed an executive order prohibiting American investments in Chinese companies linked to the country’s military, forcing US stock exchanges to delist companies.

Reversing the previous president’s action, Biden has moved to authorize most investments in companies “whose name closely matches, but does not exactly match, the name of a Communist Chinese military company” until May 27, according to the Treasury notice. However, the new general license does not allow transactions with subsidiaries of Chinese military companies that are currently banned by the US.

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The move had been anticipated, as Biden administration officials have been critical of Trump’s measures, which forced the US stock exchange to remove Chinese companies from its listings, including the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, Sinochem and ChemChina.

While the Biden administration has reversed the restriction on US investments, the State Department appears set to continue US government criticism of Beijing on a number of issues, particularly Taiwan, releasing remarks shortly after the inauguration condemning China’s actions in the region.

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