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28 Chinese firms blacklisted over abuses

October 09, 2019

The United States Commerce Department announced Monday it is blacklisting 28 Chinese entities that it says were implicated in rights violations and abuses targeting Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region.

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the move, which bars the named entities from purchasing US products, saying the US “cannot and will not tolerate the brutal suppression of ethnic minorities within China.”

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross AP PHOTO

According to an update to the US Federal Register set to be published Wednesday, the blacklisted firms included video surveillance company Hikvision, as well as artificial intelligence companies Megvii Technology and SenseTime.

The ban comes amid heightened tensions between the US and China, particularly over trade policy and Beijing’s actions in the western Xinjiang region.

The world’s two biggest economies are in the midst of a trade war that’s seen them impose tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in bilateral trade.

On Monday, the White House announced that talks between the two countries were set to resume on Thursday, with Beijing’s top trade envoy Liu He due to meet US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The US has meanwhile stepped up its rhetoric against Beijing over its policies in the western Xinjiang region.

Right groups say China has detained around one million Uighurs and other Muslims in re-education camps in the region, actions that Washington has said are reminiscent of Nazi Germany.

During last month’s United Nations General Assembly, the State Department organized an event to highlight the plight of the Uighurs, with the US second-highest diplomat John Sullivan decrying “China’s horrific campaign of repression.”

“In Xinjiang, the Chinese government prevents Muslims from praying and reading the Quran, and it has destroyed or defaced a great number of mosques,” Sullivan said.

“This is a systematic campaign by the Chinese Communist Party to stop its own citizens from exercising their unalienable right to religious freedom.”

China had until recently denied the existence of re-education camps, but now claims they are “vocational training schools” necessary to control terrorism, while decrying interference in its “internal affairs.”

The 28 entities blacklisted include 18 public security bureaus in Xinjiang, one police college and eight businesses.

AFP

Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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