China 'Will Take Necessary Measures' to Defend Interests After U.S. Expands List of Off-Limit Companies

China said it "will take necessary measures" to defend interests of Chinese companies on Friday after the U.S. expanded its list of those that are off-limits for American investors.

President Joe Biden added more Chinese companies to the off-limits list late Thursday making it a total of 59 in a move that updated an order signed by former President Donald Trump in 2020 where 31 were originally listed, the Associated Press reported. Biden said the update is to "ensure that U.S. investments are not supporting Chinese companies that undermine the security or values of the United States and our allies."

"China will take necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a press conference without specifying what those measures would be.

The list includes China's telecommunications equipment company Huawei Technologies and one of China's largest oil companies, China National Offshore Oil Corp.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

U.S. President Joe Biden and VP Harris
U.S. President Joe Biden (R) speaks as Vice President Kamala Harris (L) listens during an event in the South Court Auditorium of the White House June 2, 2021 in Washington, DC. China fired back at the U.S. after Biden added more Chinese companies to a list that makes them off-limits for American investors.

China vehemently objected Friday to Biden's expansion of the list of Chinese companies whose shares are off-limits to American investors because of their purported links to the Chinese military and surveillance.

The order signed by Trump last year added to antagonisms over trade and technology.

Wang urged Washington to withdraw the order and "provide Chinese enterprises with a fair and non-discriminatory business and investment environment."

The executive order takes effect Aug. 2. It is the latest indication that Biden has not softened Washington's stance on alleged security risks from companies U.S. officials say are linked to the Chinese "military and industrial complex."

Tariffs on Chinese exports that were imposed under Trump, triggering similar actions from Beijing, mostly remain in place. China's chief economic envoy, Vice Premier Liu He, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen held their first meeting by video Wednesday, but the two sides gave no indication when negotiations on ending their tariff war might resume.

The updated list includes companies that Washington alleges contribute to surveillance of religious and ethnic minorities or to repression and "serious human rights abuses."

Investors already holding shares in the 59 companies listed have one year to divest from them. Many but not all of the companies on the expanded list already were on a Defense Department blacklist that limits access to American technology and investment.

Huawei Technologies faces various U.S. sanctions and two of its financial affiliates are on the off-limits list. It also includes China's big state-owned telecom companies.

Separately, the Commerce Department has put CNOOC, the country's third-largest national oil company, on an economic blacklist for what it described as "reckless and belligerent actions" in the disputed waters of the South China Sea.

That's a reference to CNOOC's involvement in offshore drilling in disputed waters of the South China Sea, where Beijing has overlapping territorial claims with other countries including Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia, as well as Taiwan.

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp., or SMIC, plays a leading role in the ruling party's effort to reduce reliance on U.S. and other foreign technology by creating Chinese suppliers of processor chips and other components.

The companies added to the list include manufacturers of satellite equipment, integrated circuits, optical components, and satellite communications equipment and software.

Apart from the investment ban, U.S. firms are prohibited from exporting or transferring technology to dozens of Chinese companies unless they have special permission from the government.

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp., which overtook Apple Inc. as the world's No. 3 smartphone maker by sales in the third quarter of 2020, was removed from the earlier investment blacklist after it sued the U.S. government, demanding to be removed and denying it has any links with China's People's Liberation Army.

Xiaomi is a Beijing-based company known for its value-for-money smartphones and smart devices.

Chinese Technology Firm Huawei
In this Oct. 31, 2019, file photo, attendees walk past a display for 5G services from Chinese technology firm Huawei at the PT Expo in Beijing. U.S. President Joe Biden has nearly doubled the list of Chinese companies whose shares are off-limits to U.S. investors in the latest sign he is not softening Washington's stance toward Beijing. Mark Schiefelbein/AP Photo