23:00 GMT28 November 2020
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    US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order prohibiting Americans from investing in nearly three dozen firms that do business with China's People's Liberation Army (PLA).

    The Thursday executive order bars Americans from putting money into firms helping the PLA to modernize. The order bars the purchase or investment in emerging markets funds that include the firms starting on January 11, 2021, and gives firms until November 2021 to divest fully from them.

    According to the Wall Street Journal, there are 31 firms on the list. Bloomberg published a partial list including 20 firms in June, which includes aerospace design firms, shipbuilding companies, and construction companies, as well as technology firms like China Mobile Ltd. and China Telecom Corporation.

    In the order, Trump claims that the People's Republic of China "is increasingly exploiting United States capital to resource and to enable the development and modernization of its military, intelligence, and other security apparatuses, which continues to allow the PRC to directly threaten the United States homeland and United States forces overseas, including by developing and deploying weapons of mass destruction, advanced conventional weapons, and malicious cyber-enabled actions against the United States and its people."

    Trump claims Beijing "compels" ostensibly private firms to support its military-industrial complex, including by raising capital by selling securities on foreign markets. "In that way, the PRC exploits United States investors to finance the development and modernization of its military," he wrote.

    The move is just Washington's latest attack on Chinese companies. The Trump administration has already barred Americans from doing business with dozens of Chinese tech firms it claims are compelled by Beijing to supply Chinese intelligence with access to user data, enabling it to spy on users around the globe. Beijing and the companies accused, such as Huawei and TikTok, have sternly denied that such political compulsion or technical capability exists and said their products are safe.

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    Tags:
    Donald Trump, investment, executive order, PLA, China
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