China's foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the United States is "maliciously slandering" Chinese companies. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo
Nov. 13 (UPI) -- China denounced a U.S. executive order that bans U.S. citizens from investing in Chinese military-owned firms, calling the move a form of "malicious slander."
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Friday at a regular press briefing the executive order signed by President Donald Trump is an attack on the "convergence development policy" that has enhanced cooperation in China between the military and the private sector.
"This move will not only seriously damage the legitimate interests of Chinese companies, but will also damage the interests of investors in various countries, including the United States," Wang said.
Trump's executive order is applicable to 31 Chinese companies that "enable the development and modernization" of China's military and "directly threaten" U.S. national security.
The order is to take effect on Jan. 11, or about a week before the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden.
Smartphone manufacturers, including Huawei and Hikvision, are among the blacklisted companies. Hikvision is one of the world's biggest video surveillance equipment makers, according to CNN. China Telecom and China Mobile, two other banned companies, are listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Trump's new order extends to pension funds. Investors cannot own or trade securities that include shares from those firms, and shareholders must divest by November 2021.
Huawei has been the source of controversy following U.S. allegations of abetting Chinese government espionage. Huawei's products contain "backdoors" for surveillance, U.S. officials have said.
The Trump administration has remained critical of recent developments in Hong Kong, after the Hong Kong government disqualified opposition lawmakers from the city's Legislative Council.
The move "leaves no doubt that the Chinese Communist Party has flagrantly violated its international commitments under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and its promises to the people of Hong Kong, including those under the Basic Law," White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien said this week.