The US Commerce Department on Monday announced that it has blacklisted 11 Chinese businesses for involvement in human rights violations against the Uighur minority, cutting off the firms’ access to American goods.
Washington, together with other western nations and rights groups, has accused Beijing of interning at least a million Muslims from the Uighur ethnic group in the western Xinjiang region.
The Commerce Department said in a statement that the 11 sanctioned companies are “implicated in human rights violations and abuses in the implementation of the People’s Republic of China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor, involuntary collection of biometric data, and genetic analyses.”
Commerce sanctioned nine companies — Changji Esquel Textile, Hefei Bitland Information Technology, Hefei Meiling, Hetian Haolin Hair Accessories, Hetian Taida Apparel, KTK Group, Nanjing Synergy Textiles, Nanchang O-Film Tech and Tanyuan Technology — for involvement in forced labor.
Earlier this month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called China’s treatment of Uighurs “the stain of the century.”
In June, Beijing had slammed US law that would sanction Chinese officials over the mass incarceration of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities and said it “maliciously attacks” China’s policy in the Xinjiang region.
The legislation, which passed Congress almost unanimously, requires the US administration to determine which Chinese officials are responsible for the “arbitrary detention, torture and harassment” of Uighurs and other minorities.
US Congress had approved sanctions earlier in May against China over the mass incarceration of Muslim Uighurs.
The mass detention of Uighur Muslims in the name of “attending school” where they are being taught “mild methods to fight Islamic extremism” has actually been a brainwashing camp where the citizens are being separated from their religion and families.
After an earlier version of the law passed in December, the Chinese foreign ministry accused the United States of hypocrisy in its own “counter-terrorism” efforts.
Since 2017, the authorities in Xinjiang have detained many hundreds of thousands of Uighurs, Kazakhs and other Muslims in internment camps from the northwest region of the country.
(With inputs from agency)