China on Sunday vowed to take “necessary measures” in the face of the “unjustified crackdown” by the United States on new Chinese companies, most of which are accused of participating in the “oppression” of ethnic Uyghur Muslims.
In the context of strong bilateral tensions over trade, Taiwan, Hong Kong or even new technologies, the Biden administration on Friday announced the addition of 23 additional Chinese companies to its trade blacklist.
14 accused of alleged “violations” of human rights in the Xinjiang region (northwest), Washington accused Beijing of “launching a campaign of repression” against “Uyghurs, Kazakhs and members of” other Muslim minorities”.
Among other companies targeted, half of the others have been suspended over alleged links to Chinese military modernization.
A Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesperson responded that “regardless of the facts, the US is once again using the excuse of human rights” to launch an “unjustified campaign” against Chinese companies.
“We will take necessary measures to vigorously defend China’s legitimate rights and interests,” he said in a statement, denouncing “the serious violation of international economic and trade rules.”
The US List is used to restrict the export, re-export, and transfer of items to entities suspected of involvement in activities contrary to national security or US interests.
Xinjiang has long been hit by bloody attacks targeting civilians, attributed to separatists or Islamists from the Muslim Uyghur ethnicity. In response, the authorities imposed draconian police censorship.
Western studies, especially American studies, based on interpretations of official Chinese documents, on the testimonies of alleged victims and on statistical extrapolations that accuse the Chinese authorities of repression against the Uyghurs.
These reports accuse China of arbitrarily detaining at least a million people in “camps”, most of whom are Muslims, to resort to “forced sterilization” and “labour”. Beijing strongly denies the accusations.
Washington denounces “genocide” and has imposed several sanctions targeting Chinese interests.
On June 24, the United States banned the import of solar panel materials made by a Chinese company. They had previously banned the import of hair products, cotton, computer parts or textiles made by companies in Xinjiang.
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