China Releases Details on Its Own Unreliable Entity List

China’s Ministry of Commerce has released long-awaited provisions on its “unreliable entity list,” in a move seen as a countermeasure to similar actions taken by Washington.  The FILE – U.S. President Donald Trump attends a bilateral meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019.”Trump continues to take provocative actions, but China has decided not to retaliate concretely until the results of the presidential election and the extent to which U.S. policy might change during the next administration,” he added.  Derek Scissors, an economist with the think tank American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., agreed with that statement. Nevertheless, he added, China risks losing its biggest advocate in Washington by announcing the provisions.  “Because American companies are China’s biggest allies in the political debate here, China would be retaliating against its friends,” he told VOA Mandarin. Who’s on the list?  William Reinsch, a trade expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., said he believes that China will retaliate, and is deciding which companies should be on the list.   “I’m sure they’re trying to think about who would be on it. But in my experience with the Chinese, they’re very careful not to do things that hurt themselves,” he told VOA Mandarin. He said that large American firms that have a foot in China are big employers, meaning that sanctioning them “is going to affect a lot of Chinese workers.” On top of that, U.S. firms operating in China provide tax revenue for the Beijing government.  China’s state newspaper, Pedestrians walk past a HSBC logo in Hong Kong, Sept. 21, 2020.China’s Commerce Ministry said in a news briefing  that the unreliable entity list would not target a specific country or entity.  The ministry also emphasized that it would continue to welcome foreign investors, and further open the economy by deepening market reforms.  The Washington-based industry group U.S.-China Business Council (USCBC) called for restraint in how the unreliable entity list is used.  “Companies increasingly feel squeezed between the U.S. and Chinese governments, where complying with the rules of one government may cause them to run afoul of rules of the other government,” it said in a statement.According to USCBC’s 2020 annual member survey, U.S. companies with a presence in the China market list U.S.-China relations as the top challenge for conducting business in China.