Washington: Chinese companies that defy Western sanctions on Russia and Belarus can be subjected to "devastating" actions, US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said on Tuesday.

On February 24, Russia started the invasion of Ukraine. Since then, dozens of countries, including Japan, South Korea and Australia, have imposed financial sanctions and travel bans against Russia.

"We could essentially shut SMIC [Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation] down because we prevent them from using our equipment and our software," Raimondo said told The New York Times (NYT) in an interview about Chinese firms that continue working with Russia.

US Commerce Secretary added that SMIC or any Chinese companies breaching US export control measures can be shut down should they deliver chips and other high-tech items to the sanctioned countries.

The NYT report said the export controls prohibit the sale of certain high-tech products, including advanced semiconductors, to Russia and Belarus.

According to the report, the export controls apply not just to US firms, but also to companies that use American software or technology to manufacture their products.

Raimondo's remarks come a day after the US had issued a warning saying, Washington has the means to "take steps" against China if Beijing does not abide by the sanctions on Russia amid the conflict in Ukraine.

"We have also seen China abide by the sanctions that have been put in place. They obviously abstained, also from the UN Security Council vote, and have made some comments about the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. If they don't abide by the sanctions we always have, you know, we clearly have means to take steps but that's what we have seen today," White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said during a press briefing.