Beijing will take “necessary measures” to respond to Washington’s blacklist of Chinese companies regarding the treatment of Uyghurs.
China has said it will take “necessary steps” to respond to the US blacklisting of Chinese companies for their alleged role in abusing Uyghurs and other ethnic Muslim minorities.
The Commerce Department said the US move was an “unreasonable suppression of Chinese companies and a serious violation of international economic and trade rules.”
China “will take the necessary measures to firmly protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises,” the ministry said in a statement on Sunday.
No details were given, but China has denied allegations of arbitrary detention and forced labor in the far western region of Xinjiang and has increasingly responded to sanctions against companies and officials with its own visa bans. and financial ties.
The US Department of Commerce said in a statement on Friday that electronics and technology companies and other firms have contributed to Beijing’s “campaign of repression, mass detention and high-tech surveillance” against Muslim minorities. from Xinjiang.
Sanctions prohibit Americans from selling equipment or other goods to businesses.
The United States has stepped up financial and trade sanctions over China’s treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities, as well as its crackdown on democracy in the semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong.
The Chinese government has detained one million or more people in Xinjiang since 2017. Critics accuse China of operating forced labor camps and practicing forced torture and sterilization as it allegedly seeks to assimilate ethnic Muslim minority groups.
The US Department of Commerce said 14 companies were added to its list of entities for their transactions in Xinjiang, and five more for assisting the Chinese armed forces.
“The Commerce Ministry remains firmly committed to taking strong and decisive action to target entities that allow human rights violations in Xinjiang or that use American technology to fuel China’s destabilizing military modernization efforts,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in a statement posted on the ministry’s website.