On Feb. 4, the U.S. military was given the order to down a suspected Chinese spy balloon that had just finished traversing across the entire United States, successfully having collected unknown amounts of data from American citizens.
While the Biden administration clearly botched the response to the CCP balloon attack against the United States, but now the government has decided to take action against a number of Chinese aerospace firms as a result of their involvement in the balloon program, the Daily Wire reported.
The U.S. Department of Commerce announced the sanctions against the companies on Friday.
Alan Estevez, undersecretary of commerce for industry and security, released a statement explaining why the actions were taken against the six Chinese companies.
The U.S. added five Chinese companies and a research firm to the entity list in Biden administration's first economic retaliation over the balloon https://t.co/HvWrFfLIM8
— Ana Swanson (@AnaSwanson) February 10, 2023
"The PRC’s [People’s Republic of China] use of high-altitude balloons violates our sovereignty and threatens U.S. national security," the statement read.
It added: "Today’s action makes clear that entities that seek to harm U.S. national security and sovereignty will be cut off from accessing U.S. technologies."
The companies placed on the Commerce Department's "Entity List" include:
"Beijing Nanjiang Aerospace Technology, China Electronics Technology Group Corporation 48th Research Institute, Dongguan Lingkong Remote Sensing Technology, Eagles Men Aviation Science and Technology Group, Shanxi Eagles Men Aviation Science and Technology Group, and Guangzhou Tian-Hai-Xiang Aviation Technology."
U.S. Sanctions Six Chinese Balloon Companies, U.S. Department of Commerce Says
The US Department of Commerce said that 5 companies and one research institute supported "China's military modernization efforts, particularly the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) aerospace programs/1 pic.twitter.com/SeIzBwGC4f
— Lew Anno Yieretz Israel (@anno1540) February 12, 2023
"The Commerce Department will not hesitate to continue to use the Entity List and our other regulatory and enforcement tools to protect U.S. national security and sovereignty,” Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves said.
Graves added: "Today’s action demonstrates our concerted efforts to identify and disrupt the PRC’s use of surveillance balloons, which have violated the airspace of the United States and more than forty countries."
The U.S. military has downed multiple unidentified high-altitude objects in the wake of the balloon being shot down.
It's unclear if the latest shoot-downs are related to the Chinese balloon situation. Still, security experts believe it's a strong possibility that China is simply testing the United States' capabilities to respond to such unconventional threats.