US torpedoes China with South China Sea sanctions

In another move to pre-empt its successor’s foreign policy, the Donald Trump administration has imposed 11th-hour sanctions on one of China’s energy giants over its activities in the South China Sea.

China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC), a Hong Kong-listed company and one of the world’s leading energy companies, has been placed on a lengthening US blacklist of Chinese companies affiliated with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

The move effectively bars the energy company, China’s main deep-water explorer, from American markets and potential partnerships.

US investors, who until currently have held up to 16.5% of the company’s listed shares, will be forced to divest amid the ongoing anti-China crackdown underway in Washington.

CNOOC operates multiple US oil and gas fields and served as a partner for major American energy companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp. Similar to other Chinse companies targeted by the Trump administration, including ZTE and Huawei, it has also relied on Western equipment and technology.

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