White House halts US residents and businesses from investing in companies with ties to Chinese military


President Trump has signed an order barring people in the United States from investing in a batch of Chinese companies that the White House says hold ties to China's military.

News that Trump had signed the executive order, which prevents American businesses and individuals from owning stock directly or indirectly from a list of 31 businesses identified by the administration, was reported Thursday by the Wall Street Journal. Investors will have until November 2021 to divest of the securities in question.

Divisions of two companies, China Mobile Communications and China Telecommunications Corp., trade on U.S. exchanges.

The U.S. government argues that these companies support the development of the People’s Liberation Army, China's military.

The rule had been under review for months, administration officials said. It goes into effect Jan. 11.

In a statement, national security adviser Robert O’Brien said investment in these firms “goes to enhancing the capabilities” of China's army and military intelligence, threatening U.S. security.

A statement issued by Republican Sen. Ben Sasse backed the president's order.

“American money and intellectual property shouldn't do our adversaries' work for them. When it comes to high-end technology and defense infrastructure, we have to be decoupling from China,” Sasse said.

Sasse, in an audio clip leaked to the Washington Examiner last month, charged that Trump “kisses dictators' butts,” failing to take China's leadership to task over human rights violations in Hong Kong or against ethnic Uighurs detained “in literal concentration camps.”

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