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US Defense Department adds CNOOC to blacklist of alleged Chinese military companies

Highlights

Four companies added to Chinese military blacklist

Total 2020 list now includes 35 companies

CNOOC is first oil company blacklisted

Houston — The US Defense Department Dec. 3 added the China National Offshore Oil Corp. and other firms to its alleged blacklist of "Communist Chinese military companies," further escalating tensions between the two global powers.

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CNOOC is the first oil and gas company added to the growing list of Chinese telecommunications, aerospace, technology, construction, chemical and energy companies that are deemed to have military ties while operating as civilian firms.

The actual impacts of the designation are limited and could be undone as soon as next year under President-elect Joe Biden, but the move still adds to the ongoing conflict and trade dispute between the US and China. The additions at the end of 2020 under President Donald Trump also would create more for Biden to potentially unwind after he takes office.

Biden has indicated he will take a wait-and-see approach regarding China and won't immediately work to undo tariffs implemented during the trade war.

The listing could limit CNOOC's access to US investors. An executive order issued earlier in 2020 prohibits US investors from buying securities of the listed companies.

Other companies added to the blacklist on Dec. 3 were the China Construction Technology Co., the China International Engineering Consulting Corp. and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp., called SMIC.

The total list is now 35 companies, including Huawei, SinoChem, ChemChina, China Mobile, China Telecom, Panda Electronics, Hikvision and the China National Nuclear Corp.