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Chinese builder says US blacklisting has no impact on Port City

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Says immediate parent company not blacklisted
Points out no room for negative implications since Port City land’s ownership is with Sri Lanka
But says situation must be monitored as Sri Lanka is strategically located on OBOR route

By Shabiya Ali Ahlam

Colombo Port City builder, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), yesterday affirmed that Sri Lanka’s upcoming mega project would not be hindered by the United States (US) blacklisting 24 Chinese state-owned companies, including the ultimate parent of CHEC.

Speaking to Mirror Business on the possible implications on the Colombo Port City project, a CHEC Port City Colombo spokesperson said the project would not be affected in any way.

“Since the parent company (CHEC) itself is not blacklisted and only some subsidiaries are, the Colombo Port City project will not face consequences of the sanctions imposed by the US,” CHEC Port City Colombo Head of Strategy and Business Development Thulci Aluwihare told Mirror Business.

“It is not a blanket sanction imposed. Such moves by the US are very specific to the company, the nature of operation and the region it operates in. Therefore, by the current blacklisting of Chinese companies, the port city development will not take a hit,” he added.

While five subsidiaries of China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) have been included in the ‘Entity List’, CHEC is not one of them.

Aluwihare added that although the land of the mega project is leased to the Chinese entity, its ownership is with the Sri Lankan government, therefore leaving no room for any negative implication.

However, the CHEC Port City Colombo representative noted that the situation must be monitored as Sri Lanka is strategically located on the One Belt One Road (OBOR) route.

On August 26, the US Department of Commerce blacklisted 24 Chinese state-owned companies for their alleged roles in helping the Communist Party to ‘militarise’ the outposts in the contested South China Sea.

Included in the list were subsidiaries of CCCC—CCCC Dredging Group Co. Ltd, CCCC Tianjin Waterway Bureau, CCCC Shanghai Waterway Bureau, CCCC Guangzhou Waterway Bureau and CCCC Second Navigation Engineering Bureau.

The ‘Entity List’ is a tool used by the US Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) to place restrictions on the export, re-export and transfer (in-country) of items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to foreign persons (including individuals, organisations and companies) reasonably believed to be involved or to pose a significant risk of becoming involved in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the US.

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