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Financial Times: The Pentagon deferred a report to Congress about the military activities of Chinese companies in America

The British "Financial Times" newspaper reported, in its Thursday edition, that the Pentagon had failed to give Congress a legally required report on Chinese companies that allegedly have military activities or are under the control of the Chinese army in the United States, as the president approaches Joe Biden decides whether Americans can accept such companies to operate on their soil.

The newspaper indicated in the beginning of a report it published on its website on this matter, that Congress called on the Defense Ministry last January to issue a report by April 15, but the latter informed lawmakers that it had failed to meet the deadline, according to two people familiar with the report.

The newspaper said that this delay came at a time when the Biden administration decided whether to keep an executive order signed by former President Donald Trump that prohibits Americans from continuing to invest with Chinese companies that are blacklisted by the Pentagon.

Last January, the US Treasury extended the deadline for this ban to take effect until May 27, in order to give the new administration in the White House sufficient time to evaluate the executive order As part of a comprehensive review of China-related measures that Trump has taken during his tenure.

However, the "Financial Times" clarified that Biden took a more hawkish stance towards China than many foreign policy experts had expected, while a Pentagon spokesman did not explain the reason for the delay, but said that his ministry would submit the required report before next October.

The British newspaper recalled a report it had published last year that the Pentagon had responded to Trump's pressure to prepare a preliminary blacklist against Chinese companies alleged to have military activities against the United States, more than two decades after Congress mandated for the first time to investigate this issue. . The former president used this list as a basis for his order to ban direct investment or that comes through investment funds with these companies.

In addition to telling the Pentagon an update of the report every year, the Financial Times noted that Congress has expanded criteria to target companies helping the Chinese military through its "civil-military integration" program, a program that asks business groups to share technology with the Chinese armed forces.

In the same context, some US lawmakers expressed their concerns about the report being postponed. "It is imperative that the Department of Defense remain focused on documenting and monitoring the activity of Chinese military companies operating in the United States," said Republican Tom Cotton, a Senator from Arkansas. He added that the administration needs to "defeat the attempts of the Chinese Communist Party to use our judicial system against us."

Relations between the world's two largest economies are continuing to deteriorate. While the United States criticized the Chinese government for its treatment of Muslim minorities and increasing its grip on Hong Kong, the latter threatened, last year, to issue a blacklist against American companies on its soil.