China Accuses U.S. of 'Unreasonable Suppression' Over New Companies Placed on Blacklist

On Sunday, China called the U.S. blacklisting 14 Chinese companies for alleged human rights abuses an "unreasonable suppression of Chinese enterprises and a serious breach of international economic and trade rules," the Associated Press reported.

"The Chinese side will take all necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies and rejects U.S. attempts to interfere in China's internal affairs," foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Friday, Reuters reported.

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," the U.S. Commerce Department said.

Beijing denied the allegation, though no details were given.

The additions to the blacklist 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.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

China Retaliates to US Company Blacklist
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin speaks about the order to close the US consulate in Chengdu, at the daily Foreign Ministry briefing in Beijing on July 24, 2020. China said it will take "necessary measures" to retaliate in response to the U.S. blacklisting 14 more Chinese companies for alleged human rights abuses. Greg Baker/Getty Images

China has denied allegations of arbitrary detention and forced labor in the far western region of Xinjiang and increasingly responded to sanctions against companies and officials with its own bans on visas and financial links.

The U.S. Commerce Department said in a statement Friday that the electronics and technology firms and other businesses helped enable "Beijing's campaign of repression, mass detention and high-technology surveillance" against Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.

The penalties prohibit Americans from selling equipment or other goods to the firms. The United States has stepped up financial and trade penalties over China's treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities, along with its crackdown on democracy in the semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong.

The Chinese government since 2017 has detained a million or more people in Xinjiang. Critics accuse China of operating forced labor camps and carrying out torture and coerced sterilization as it allegedly seeks to assimilate Muslim ethnic minority groups.

The U.S. Commerce Department said 14 companies were added to its Entity List over their dealings in Xinjiang, and another five for aiding China's armed forces.

"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 U.S. technology to fuel China's destabilizing military modernization efforts," Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in a statement posted on the department's website.

China Retaliates to US Blacklisting Companies
A woman wearing a face mask walks by a counter displaying an American flag at a fashion boutique in Beijing, Sunday, July 11, 2021. China on Sunday said it will take "necessary measures" to respond to the U.S. blacklisting of Chinese companies over their alleged role in abuses of Uyghur people and other Muslim ethnic minorities. Andy Wong/Associated Press