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Sri Lanka sea reclamation project’s China affiliates on US export blacklist

ARTIFICIAL CITY: A Chinese dredger at work reclaiming the sea off Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo.

ECONOMYNEXT – The United States has placed several subsidiaries of China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), the ultimate parent of China Harbor Engineering which is building an artificial city extending Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo, on an export blacklist.

US companies would no longer be able to sell or export to China Communications Construction Company Dredging Group Co., Ltd. , China Communications Construction Company Tianjin Waterway Bureau, China Communications Construction Company Shanghai Waterway Bureau, China Communications Construction Company Guangzhou Waterway Bureau, China Communications Construction Company Second Navigation Engineering Bureau, any goods or services without an export license.

The US Department of Commerce had placed the restriction to punish the firms for building artificial military islands in the South China sea in disputed territory.

“The United States, China’s neighbors, and the international community have rebuked the CCP’s sovereignty claims to the South China Sea and have condemned the building of artificial islands for the Chinese military,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement.

“The entities designated today have played a significant role in China’s provocative construction of these artificial islands and must be held accountable.”

China claims sections of the South China Sea (East Sea) and two island groups, parts of which are near and are claimed by the Phillippines Malaysia, Vietnam. Philippines also won an arbitration case using international maritime law at a United Nations tribunal.

“In particular, these entities have engaged in reclaiming land at Mischief Reef, which per a July 12, 2016 ruling by an Arbitral Tribunal convened under the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention was determined to be part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and continental shelf,” the US government said in a notice.

The CCCC group said five of its subsidiaries were named on the export restrictions.

CCCC Tianjin Waterway Bureau, CCCC Shanghai Waterway Bureau, CCC Guangzhou Waterway Bureau, were subsidiaries of CCCC Dredging.

“The Company mainly conducts the business of waterway dredging, land reclamation and environmental dredging domestically,” CCCC said in a statement.

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“The overseas dredging business accounts for a relatively small portion and no dredging business is conducted in the U.S. by the Company.

“In addition, the core equipment for the dredging business of the Company did not use any technology supplied by or imported from U.S. enterprises.

“The Company is conducting a thorough assessment on the potential impacts of the decision on the business and operation of the Company. The Company will make further announcements in due course if necessary.”

China Harbor Engineering or its project subsidiary CHEC Port City Colombo was not named in the export blacklist.

It is not clear whether CCCC Dredging was involved in Colombo or supplied the dredgers to Colombo Port City. (SB-Colombo/Aug29/2020)