U.S. has imposed sanctions on 24 Chinese companies and related officials The U.S. has said it is involved in the creation of artificial islands in the disputed area of the South China Sea. Sanctions have been announced against subsidiaries of construction giant China Communications Construction Company, telecommunications companies and a unit of the China Shipbuilding Group.
It’s alleged that this is Washington’s latest move to put pressure on Beijing to strengthen its military presence in the South China Sea. The U.S. Department of Commerce said the companies were found to have aided China in building outposts and militarizing the South China Sea.
The U.S. has alleged that since 2013, China has used its state-owned enterprises to reclaim more than 3,000 acres of land in the disputed area of the South China Sea. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accused the United States of destabilizing the region and challenging the sovereignty of neighboring countries.
Pompeo also said that individuals involved in South China Sea activities could not obtain visas to visit the United States. However, the names of the individuals who imposed the sanctions have not been released.
The dispute over who owns the South China Sea has been going on since the time of Mao Zedong. China claims all the areas marked with 9 lines on the sea map since 1948 as its own. Countries such as the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have also made claims in the region. The U.S. has denied China’s claims over most of its maritime borders.