CHINA (OBSERVATORY) — Beijing on Tuesday denounced a US decision to list 28 Chinese entities on its blacklist for involvement in a crackdown on mostly Muslim minorities in Xinjiang, saying the charges were “groundless”.
US Trade Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement that the United States “cannot tolerate and will not tolerate the brutal repression of China’s ethnic minorities.”
But Beijing has expressed “strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition” to the blacklist while defending its policy in the country’s western border region, where rights groups say more than a million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities are being held in educational camps.
“None of these ‘human rights issues’ claimed by the United States exist,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Tuesday.
“These accusations are just an excuse used by the United States to deliberately interfere in China’s internal affairs,” he said.
Targeted business entities include video surveillance firm Hikvision and Megvii Technology and SensTime, according to a US Federal Register document released Wednesday.
The ban comes on the impact of rising levels of tension between the United States and China, especially on trade policy and Beijing’s practices in Xinjiang.
The world’s two largest economies are engaged in a trade war after they have exchanged punitive duties on products worth hundreds of billions of dollars from both sides.
The White House announced on Monday that talks between the two countries would resume on Thursday when Chinese trade envoy Liu He is expected to meet US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin.
In the meantime, the United States has intensified its rhetoric against Beijing against the backdrop of its policies in Xinjiang, considering that it is a reminder of Nazi Germany.
At last month’s UN General Assembly meetings, the State Department organized an event to highlight the suffering of Uyghurs, with US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan denouncing China’s “appalling crackdown.”
“In Xinjiang, the Chinese government prohibits Muslims from praying and reading the Koran, and has destroyed or vandalized many mosques,” Sullivan said.
“It is a systematic campaign by the CPC to prevent its citizens from exercising their inalienable right to religious freedom.”
China has so far denied the existence of educational camps but now points out that they are “vocational training schools” necessary to control terrorism.
– “Involved” –
Among the 28 entities on the blacklist are 18 government security offices in Xinjiang, a police college and eight commercial companies.
“These entities are involved in human rights violations in the context of the implementation of the Chinese crackdown, arbitrary arrests and surveillance of Uighurs, Kazakhs and other members of Muslim minorities using advanced technology,” the US Federal Register said.
Several blacklisted companies issued statements condemning the decision.
The “Hikvision” that “there is no realistic basis” of the US decision.
“We urge the US government to reconsider, based on the principle of fairness, justice and non-discrimination, and to remove Hikvision from the list of entities,” she said.
Megvi, backed by the online giant Alibaba, said in a statement it “strongly” opposed the decision, which it said “reflects a lack of understanding about our company.”
Megan said only 1 percent of its 2018 revenue came from projects in Xinjiang while it did not receive any revenue in the first six months of 2019 from the region.
SenseTime expressed its “deep disappointment” and confirmed that it would work “closely with all relevant authorities to fully understand and resolve the issue.”
The blacklisting of companies came after an earlier move by Washington to block technology giant Huawei and other Chinese companies from obtaining government contracts.
Hikvision was included in the ban, which prevents any federal agency from buying telecommunications equipment or technology from listed companies and came amid concerns about Huawei linking to Chinese intelligence.
The United States fears Beijing may use Huawei-built spy systems with “back doors” added to communications network equipment.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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