The US government plans to add more than 10 Chinese businesses to an economic blacklist for alleged human rights abuses and high-tech surveillance in Xinjiang.
|The US Department of Commerce plans to add 14 Chinese businesses to a blacklist for alleged abuses in Xinjiang. File photo: AFP|
Two Reuters sources said the Commerce Department’s addition of Chinese firms to the blacklist was part of an effort by the administration of President Joe Biden to hold China accountable for human rights abuses.
China has denied allegations of genocide and forced labor in Xinjiang and says its policy is necessary to quell separatists and religious extremists who have launched attacks and escalates tensions between most of the Uighurs and Han Chinese – the majority ethnic group in the country.
A Reuters source revealed that the US Commerce Department plans to blacklist 14 more Chinese businesses for alleged abuses in Xinjiang.
However, specific information about these businesses is still unknown. Some companies from other countries will also be included in the same blacklist scheduled to be announced on June 9 (US time).
The White House declined to comment on the matter, while the Commerce Department did not immediately respond to related questions.
The latest move shows that President Biden wants to put pressure on China on the issue of the US administration’s increasingly serious human rights abuses against the Uighurs in Xinjiang.
In general, companies that are blacklisted by the US will have to go through the door of the US Department of Commerce and undergo rigorous checks when they apply for a license to buy goods / supplies from US suppliers.
Last month, the US Commerce Department said it would add five Chinese businesses to its blacklist for “accepting and using forced labor while carrying out China’s campaign of repression.” for Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region”.
The US Department of Commerce said that the agency’s statement last month targeted five entities (including Hoshine Silicon Industry, a solar cell material maker) that specifically had access to goods, software and American technology.
This is not the first time the US government has targeted Chinese companies involved in allegations of high-tech surveillance in Xinjiang.
In 2019, the administration of former President Donald Trump added several leading Chinese artificial intelligence startups to a blacklist for alleged treatment of Muslim minorities.
The US Commerce Department under Donald Trump has targeted 20 Chinese public security agencies and eight companies, including video surveillance company Hikvision, as well as leading players in facial recognition technology such as SenseTime Group and Megvii Technology.
The entities are involved in “high-tech surveillance of Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups”, the US Commerce Department said in 2019.
UN experts and human rights groups estimate more than a million people, mostly Uighurs and members of other Muslim minority groups, have been detained in the system. large-scale camps in Xinjiang in recent years.