"The United States cannot ignore the national security implications of China's efforts to obtain nuclear technology outside of established processes of US-China civil nuclear cooperation," Perry said in a statement as quoted by AFP.
The new policy goes into immediate effect, and sets guidelines for reviewing all existing and future technology transfers into China. The vast majority of existing technology transfers approved before January 1, 2018, are unlikely to be altered, Reuters reported, citing US officials. The development of nuclear technology to power small reactors in the South China Sea, as well as for submarines and icebreakers, are reportedly of concern.
The tensions between the world's largest economies sparked in June when Trump announced that $50 billion worth of Chinese goods would be subject to 25 percent tariffs, with Beijing responding in kind. The latest round of US tariffs came into effect in September, causing the situation to deteriorate even further.