Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, on Wednesday slammed the Biden administration for what he called an "astonishingly weak" response to five Chinese firms that were caught violating sanctions by supplying support to Russia's war against Ukraine, National Review reports.
The Commerce Department announced on Tuesday that the five companies were being placed on the entity list, which prohibits American firms from exporting to them.
But McCaul, the ranking Republican member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said that that punishment wasn't enough.
"Deputy Secretary [of State Wendy] Sherman promised 'consequences' if the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] provided 'material support' to Russia, but the administration's feeble concept of 'consequences' will do little to deter the CCP's ongoing support for Putin's war crimes," he said, referencing Sherman's comments in an April hearing.
McCaul said the White House should have put sanctions on the companies that prevented them from conducting any international business.
"Providing 'continued support of Russia's military efforts' should result in significant sanctions on those offending companies," he said, calling the administration's response, "astonishingly weak" and saying it "could further the threat Russia poses to Ukrainian civilians and soldiers."
The Commerce Department said the five firms are supplying Russian "entities of concern," but added that it has not determined whether the Chinese government is behind their activity in evading sanctions. And Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said last month that the United States has not found "systematic" efforts by the Chinese to evade sanctions and aid Russia's war effort, National Review noted.
On Thursday, China announced its opposition to the blacklisting by the United States and said it will take the necessary measures to protect them, Reuters reported.
China hopes the United States will correct its wrongdoings immediately and stop cracking down on Chinese firms, the country's commerce ministry spokesperson Shu Jueting said at a regular press conference, Reuters reported.
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