US sanctions Chinese firms over Muslim abuse complaints

Washington, July 21

The US authorities has imposed commerce sanctions on 11 firms it says are implicated in human rights abuses in China’s Muslim northwestern area of Xinjiang.

Monday’s announcement provides to U.S. strain on Beijing over Xinjiang, the place the ruling Communist Party is accused of mass detentions, pressured labor and different abuses in opposition to Muslim minorities.

Xinjiang is amongst a collection of conflicts together with human rights, commerce and know-how which have induced U.S.-Chinese relations to plunge to their lowest stage in many years.

The Trump administration additionally has imposed sanctions on 4 Chinese officers over the accusations. Beijing responded by saying unspecified penalties on 4 U.S. senators who’re critics of its human rights report.

The Department of Commerce mentioned the addition of the 11 firms to its Entity List will restrict their entry to U.S. items and know-how. It gave no particulars of what items is perhaps affected.

“This action will ensure that our goods and technologies are not used in the Chinese Communist Party’s despicable offensive against defenseless Muslim minority populations,” mentioned Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in a press release.

China has detained an estimated 1 million or extra members of its Muslim ethnic minority teams in internment camps.

The authorities describes them as vocational coaching amenities aimed toward countering Muslim radicalism and separatist tendencies. It says these amenities have since been closed, a declare that’s unimaginable to substantiate given the restrictions on visits and reporting concerning the area.

Veterans of the camps and relations say these held are pressured, typically with the specter of violence, to denounce their faith, tradition and language and swear loyalty to Communist Party chief and head of state Xi Jinping.

The firms cited Monday embrace clothes producers and know-how suppliers.

Three of the businesses had been recognized by investigations by The Associated Press in 2018 and 2020 as being implicated in pressured labour.

One firm, Nanchang O-Film Tech, provides screens and lenses to Apple, Samsung and different know-how firms. AP reporters discovered staff from Xinjiang at its manufacturing facility within the southern metropolis of Nanchang weren’t allowed out unaccompanied and had been required to attend political courses.

US customs authorities seized a cargo from the second firm, Hetian Haolin Hair Accessories, on suspicion it was made by pressured labor. People who labored for the third, Hetian Taida, which produces sportswear offered to U.S. universities and sports activities groups, informed AP detainees had been compelled to work there.

The Commerce Department imposed related restrictions final October and in June on a complete of 37 firms it mentioned had been “engaged in or enabling” abuses in Xinjiang.

The division issued a warning on July 1 that firms that deal with items made by pressured labor or that provide know-how that is perhaps utilized in labor camps or for surveillance may face unspecified “reputational, economic and legal risks.”   

The Chinese overseas ministry criticized the warning and mentioned Beijing will take “necessary measures” to guard Chinese firms however gave no particulars. —AP

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