China criticizes US moves to expand financial sanctions

BEIJING — China’s government today criticized new U.S. moves to reduce access to American financial markets and said it will protect Chinese companies but gave no indication of possible retaliation.

The S&P Dow Jones Indices and FTSE Russell removed more Chinese companies from their indexes after President Joe Biden expanded a blacklist of companies that are off limits to American investors. Such indexes are the basis for billions of dollars of investment in stocks and bonds.

A foreign ministry spokesman, Wang Wenbin, accused Washington of “abusing national power and generalizing the concept of national security to suppress Chinese enterprises for no reason.”

Beijing will “take all necessary measures” to protect its companies and “defeat U.S. attempts to interfere in China’s internal affairs,” Wang said. He gave no details.

The restrictions were launched by Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, to block access to U.S. financing for companies that are deemed to be contributing to efforts to modernize the ruling Communist Party’s military wing. They include telecom, oil, aerospace and other companies.

Biden’s June 3 order raised the number of Chinese companies on the list to 59 from Trump’s 44.