Joe Biden signed an executive order updating the United States’ list of blacklisted Chinese companies, dropping the ban on at least one company that was originally put on the list by President Donald Trump, the Washington Free Beacon reports.
Biden lifted the blacklist on the company Sugon, which was first banned by President Trump in November of 2020. The company is responsible for selling “supercomputers” to the Chinese military, for use in nuclear weapons research. Sugon also specializes in facial recognition software, cloud computing, and other surveillance technology that has been used by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) against the Uyghur Muslim population.
Although Biden’s updated list still maintains bans on such companies as Huawei and Hikvision, the removal of Sugon was noted as “strange” by Michael Sobolik, a fellow with the American Foreign Policy Council.
“This company’s resources have supported the CCP’s draconian surveillance in Xinjiang,” Sobolik explained. “Specifically, the Orwellian model of ‘predictive policing.’ Some members of Congress have also warned that Sugon has been involved in the PLA’s nuclear and hypersonic glide vehicle testing programs.”
The bizarre decision to ease restrictions on Chinese companies raises further questions about possible financial ties between the Biden Administration and China, as well as corruption on behalf of the Biden family with regards to Chinese business interests. Biden’s determination to take a softer approach on China is also seen as the latest of his efforts to spite former President Trump by adopting policies that are the exact opposite of his predecessor. President Trump was famously critical of China, both in terms of trade and manufacturing policy and their military aspirations, and implemented numerous tariffs that successfully hindered China’s growth while bringing economic prosperity back to the United States.
China has been under increased scrutiny over the last year after being directly responsible for the origin and spread of the global COVID-19 pandemic, and its military and technological aspirations have also come under fire in recent months. Earlier this week, the United States Senate passed a bipartisan bill to increase spending on American technological research and innovation, specifically in order to combat the rise of China.