US adds 14 Chinese firms to black list over Xinjiang
July 09 2021 11:34 PM

Reuters/ Washington

The Biden administration yesterday added 14 Chinese companies and other entities to its economic blacklist over alleged human rights abuses and high-tech surveillance in Xinjiang.
The commerce department said the companies had been “implicated in human rights violations and abuses in the implementation of China’s campaign of repression, mass detention, and high technology surveillance against Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.”
Beijing denies the alleged abuses.
The companies include the China Academy of Electronics and Information Technology; Xinjiang Lianhai Chuangzhi Information Technology Co; Shenzhen Cobber Information Technology Co; Xinjiang Sailing Information Technology; Beijing Geling Shentong Information Technology; Shenzhen Hua’antai Intelligent Technology Co, Ltd; and Chengdu Xiwu Security System Alliance Co, Ltd.
The commerce department said in total it was adding 34 entities including some from Russia and Iran, and another five entities directly supporting China’s military modernisation programmes related to lasers and battle management system.
“The department of commerce remains firmly committed to taking strong, decisive action to target entities that are enabling human rights abuses in Xinjiang or that use US technology to fuel China’s destabilising military modernisation efforts,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in a statement.
The list also includes eight entities for facilitating the export of US items to Iran and six entities for involvement in the procurement of US-origin electronic components, likely in furtherance of Russian military programmes.
The action follows the department’s decision last month to add five other companies and other Chinese entities to the blacklist over allegations of forced labour in the far western region of China.
China dismisses accusations of genocide and forced labour in Xinjiang and says its policies are necessary to stamp out separatists and religious extremists who plotted attacks and stirred up tension between mostly Muslim ethnic Uyghurs and Han, China’s largest ethnic group.
“The Chinese side will take all necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies and rejects US attempts to interfere in China’s internal affairs,” said foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin yesterday.
The latest action shows President Joe Biden aims to press China over what the administration says are worsening human rights abuses against the Uyghur population in Xinjiang.
Generally, entities added to the economic blacklist are required to apply for licences from the commerce department and face tough scrutiny when they seek permission to receive items from US suppliers.
This is not the first time the US government has targeted Chinese firms linked to allegations of high-tech surveillance activity in Xinjiang.

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