The US Commerce Department said on Tuesday October 8th it would blacklist 28 Chinese entities “implicated in rights violations and abuses” targeting Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region, in a move that is likely to step up tensions between the two world powers, AFP has reported.
US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said the entities “have been implicated in human rights violations and abuses in the implementation of China's campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups."
"The US cannot and will not tolerate the brutal suppression of ethnic minorities within China," Ross said. The move would ban the named entities from purchasing US products.
The decision targets 20 Chinese public security bureaus and eight companies including video surveillance firm Hikvision, as well as top firms in facial recognition technology such as SenseTime Group Ltd and Megvii Technology Ltd, and speech recognition firm iFlytek Co.
The ban comes amid heightened tensions between US and China, the world’s two biggest economies, over trade policy and Beijing's actions in the western Xinjiang region.
Rights groups say China has detained around one million Uighurs and other Muslims in re-education camps in the region, a move which Washington described as reminiscent of Nazi Germany.