The US Department of Commerce said Friday it would sanction a Chinese government institute and eight companies for human rights abuses against Uighurs and other minorities in China ’ s western Xinjiang region.
“ These nine parties are complicit in human rights violations and abuses committed in China’ s campaign of repression , mass arbitrary detention , forced labor and high – technology surveillance against Uighurs , ethnic Kazakhs , and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region , ” the Commerce Department said in a statement .
The sanctions followed China’ s move to impose a national security law to quash the pro -democracy movement in Hong Kong , which US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called a “ disastrous proposal. ”
The Chinese Ministry of Public Security’ s Institute of Forensic Science and Aksu Huafu Textiles Co . will be sanctioned “ for engaging in human rights violations and abuses , ” while the Commerce Department penalized seven companies for enabling surveillance in Xinjiang .
All nine entities are now subject to restrictions on exports from the US, the Commerce Department said .
Washington has been increasingly active in its criticism of China’ s treatment of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang and in October blacklisted 28 entities involved in rights violation in the region .
The House of Representatives and Senate need to reconcile similar acts approved last year that would seek sanctions on officials over abuses , and restrict exports of surveillance and other equipment seen as assisting in repression in Xinjiang .
Uighur activists and witnesses say China is seeking to forcibly integrate the ethnic group .
Beijing argues that it is offering vocational training in a bid to discourage extremism .
Tensions are also growing between the world ’ s two largest economies after President Donald Trump accused China of misleading the world on the origins of the coronavirus , which first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan .
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