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A Chinese flag hangs near a Hikvision security camera outside a shop in Beijing
The US says the blacklisted firms were linked to China's campaign of 'repression' and 'high-technology surveillance' against Muslim ethnic minoritiesImage: Mark Schiefelbein/AP/picture alliance

China vows retaliation after US expands blacklist

July 11, 2021

Beijing said it would "take necessary measures" in response to Washington's move to blacklist over a dozen Chinese firms. The US says the companies are linked to abuses against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities.


China sharply criticized the United States on Sunday after Washington added several Chinese companies to an economic blacklist.

The move comes as the United States and other Western allies ramp up pressure over China's alleged human rights abuses against the Uyghur Muslim minority in Xinjiang province.

What did China say?

In a statement, China's Commerce Ministry said the move amounted to an "unreasonable suppression of Chinese enterprises and a serious break of international economic and trade rules."

The ministry said China was prepared to "take necessary measures" in response to the move to protect Chinese companies.

In the past, China has responded to sanctions with retaliatory measures of its own, targeting western officials and institutions with visa bans and curbs on financial links.

Why did the US expand the blacklist?

On Friday, the US added numerous Chinese technology and electronics firms to its trade blacklist.

Washington accused the companies of helping enable "Beijing's campaign of repression, mass detention and high-technology surveillance'' against the Uyghur and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang province, according to a statement from the US Commerce Department.

Among those added to the list were 14 companies over their links in Xinjiang. Five other firms were added for alleged contributions to China's military.

The blacklist distinction means US companies are barred from selling equipment and other items to the Chinese firms.

Silencing Uyghur intellectuals

China facing pressure over rights abuses

Since 2017, China has detained over 1 million people in camps in Xinjiang province — primarily Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities, including Huis and Kazakhs.

Observers say the camps are part of a plan by the Chinese government to forcibly assimilate ethnic minorities. Reports have also emerged of forced labor and torture at the camps as well as coerced sterilization.

China strongly denies the allegations, labeling the facilities "reeducation centers" that seek to prevent extremism.

rs/jlw (Reuters, AP)

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