Aviation Week reports in its latest issue that earlier this month the Treasury Department moved to freeze the assets under US jurisdiction of four Chinese companies, including China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), the principal Chinese commercial space company, and its US subsidiary, G.W. Aerospace, Inc. The companies allegedly provided support to Iran for the development of medium-range ballistic missiles. The orders “prohibit all transactions between the designees and any U.S. person and freeze any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction,” according to a Treasury Department press release.
The Aviation Week article notes that this could have an adverse effect on potential US-Chinese space cooperation, to be discussed during NASA administrator Mike Griffin’s trip to China later this year:
The U.S. deals with China across a wide range of commercial and scientific topics. If the U.S. views this as a Chinese-company problem, the cooperation will not be directly impacted. But if the Bush administration views it as more of a government problem, then it could cool the administration’s recent cooperative tone.
It should be noted that CGWIC, which primarily sells Long March launches to foreign customers, is owned by the Chinese government.