The U.S. Department of State,  on  August 26,  imposed visa restrictions on People’s Republic of China (PRC) individuals responsible for, or complicit in, either the large-scale reclamation, construction, or militarization of disputed outposts in the South China Sea, or the PRC’s use of coercion against Southeast Asian claimants to inhibit their access to offshore resources.  

“These individuals will now be inadmissible into the United States, and their immediate family members may be subject to these visa restrictions as well.  In addition, the Department of Commerce has added 24 PRC state-owned enterprises to the Entity List, including several subsidiaries of China Communications Construction Company (CCCC).  Under these sanctions, certain U.S.-origin items may require a license subject to Export Administration Regulations (EAR) before they can be provided to companies on the Entity List,” the U.S Embassy in Colombo said in a press release.

Since 2013, the PRC has used its state-owned enterprises to dredge and unlawfully reclaim more than 3,000 acres in the South China Sea, destabilizing the region, trampling on the sovereign rights of its neighbors, and causing untold environmental devastation, the Embassy said.

CCCC led the destructive dredging of the PRC’s South China Sea outposts and is also one of the leading contractors used by Beijing in its global Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) strategy.  CCCC and its subsidiaries have engaged in corruption, predatory financing, environmental destruction, and other abuses across the world.

These sanctions are targeted at PRC entities and the United States further encourages countries to manage risk when dealing with CCCC and its subsidiaries. CCCC has done untold environmental damage, been involved with malign actions around the world, and caused instability in the Indo-Pacific.  

“The United State hopes countries will examine their dealings with CCCC to guard against the company’s abuses, and to protect their own sovereignty and interests,” the Embassy added.