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WASHINGTON—President Trump signed an executive order prohibiting Americans from investing in a clutch of Chinese companies the Trump administration says supply and otherwise support China’s military.

The order blocks American companies and individuals from owning shares directly or through funds that include any among 31 companies identified by the U.S. as aiding the modernization of the People’s Liberation Army, or PLA. Those firms—which include large state-run aerospace, shipbuilding and construction companies as well technology…