Washington: The Trump administration in his last days in the office blacklisted nine other Chinese companies for their alleged connections with the Chinese military. Companies that have been delisted include Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi and Oil giant Cnooc. Notably, the latest ban is being seen as a final push to put pressure on Beijing before Joe Biden takes over as US President. Other firms that have been blacklisted are state-owned planemaker Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China Ltd., or Comac.Also Read - China To Release Missing Arunachal Teen, Will Soon Announce Date And Time: Union Minister Kiren Rijiju

The restricted companies will now be subject to a new US investment ban which forces American investors to divest holdings of the blacklisted firms by Nov. 11, 2021, Reuters reported. Also Read - Video: US President Joe Biden Calls a Reporter 'Stupid Son Of A *****' on Inflation Question, Gets Mocked, Then Calls Him Personally

“China’s reckless and belligerent actions in the South China Sea and its aggressive push to acquire sensitive intellectual property and technology for its militarization efforts are a threat to U.S. national security,” the foreign news agency quoted Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross as saying in a statement. Also Read - China's PLA Has Found 'Missing' Arunachal Boy: Indian Army

“CNOOC acts as a bully for the People’s Liberation Army to intimidate China’s neighbors, and the Chinese military continues to benefit from government civil-military fusion policies for malign purposes.”

Further, the Trump administration also put in place travel bans on an unspecified number of Chinese officials and their families for what it said were violations of international standards regarding the freedom of navigation in those waters.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the sanctions less than a week Inauguration Day, next Wednesday, in what is the latest in a series of last-minute U.S. Moves against China. The United States stands with Southeast Asian claimant states seeking to defend their sovereign rights and interests, consistent with international law, Pompeo said.

On January 6, Trump had signed an executive order barring transactions with eight Chinese apps including Alipay and WeChat Pay to protect America’s national security, citing the steps taken by India to ban more than 200 Chinese connected software applications. Trump’s order said action is needed to “deal with the national emergency” caused by the “pervasiveness of the spread” of apps created and controlled in China. The banned Chinese apps include Alipay, CamScanner, QQ Wallet, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate, WeChat Pay, and WPS Office.

(With PTI inputs)