Chinese Firms Sanctioned by the US Received Funds From World Bank

Chinese Firms Sanctioned by the US Received Funds From World Bank

( – There’s an old song that goes something like “money makes the world go round,” and because of that, when a country/company/person has been determined to be working against the best interests of the United States, the world, or the laws of humanity, the government will apply sanctions to them.

However, given the complexity of international banking, there are certain entities like the World Bank that operate outside the direct influence of the American government, and a recently released report shows that some money may be slipping through the cracks into the hands of those that Washington, DC, has decided should not get any.


The People’s Republic of China (PRC) and a number of corporations and people associated with it have been placed on sanctions lists that are maintained by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, which is part of the US Treasury Department. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) submitted a report to Senator Bill Haggerty (R-TN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) dated May 10 that addressed some statistics, contract awards, and comments from the World Bank.

The cover letter accompanying the report that was addressed to the three senators notes that “neither the World Bank nor borrowers are prohibited from awarding contracts to entities on U.S. sanctions or other lists of parties of concern.” The report analyzes data for fiscal years 2013-2022 and found 28 instances where contracts were awarded to entities potentially on one of those lists representing a value of approximately $76 million.

A July 2022 report from the Sheffield Hallam University of the United Kingdom examined the plight of the native Muslim Uyghur population from the far western region of the PRC. They identify the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (a.k.a. the XPCC or Bingtuan) as “a state-run paramilitary corporate conglomerate,” which Beijing considers a “‘special system integration of government, military and enterprise.'”

The GAO document notes that Xinjiang Corps was awarded a contract funded by the World Bank on April 2, 2021, for more than $7.1 million, even though it was on the American sanctions list as of July 31, 2020. The description of the contract was for a “Ximen River disaster shelter square,” for which the PRC is also the borrower of record.

Regardless of the World Bank’s response that they essentially ignore the sanctions lists of the United States, the GAO report’s description of how the process works should make people wonder. First, the recipients of the financing are meant to be “low-and middle-income countries,” which would not seem to apply to the world’s second-largest economy run by the Chinese.

Second, these contracts are to be awarded after a “competitive procurement process,” which one could rightfully question in this case since the Sheffield Hallam University study shows that Xinjiang Corps acts as an arm of the central government in Beijing.

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