China: Dominic Raab slams treatment of Uighur Muslims
Last week, the US Commerce Department said several electronics and technology firms have helped enable “Beijing’s campaign of repression, mass detention and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region”.
However, Beijing has hit back at the “unreasonable suppression of Chinese enterprises and a serious breach of international economic and trade rules”.
China’s Commerce Ministry added that the country will “take necessary measures to firmly safeguard Chinese companies’ legitimate rights and interests”.
The US Commerce Department said 14 companies were added to its Entity list following dealings in the Xinjiang region and five others for aiding China’s armed forces.
The companies blacklisted include the China Academy of Electronics and Information Technology; Xinjiang Lianhai Chuangzhi Information Technology Co; Shenzhen Cobber Information Technology Co; Xinjiang Sailing Information Technology; Beijing Geling Shentong Information Technology; Shenzhen Hua’antai Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd.; and Chengdu Xiwu Security System Alliance Co., Ltd.
China issues warning to Biden over blacklisting companies
China has been accused of Uighur Muslim genocide
The penalties stop Americans from selling equipment or other goods to the firms.
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in a statement: “The Department of Commerce remains firmly committed to taking strong, decisive action to target entities that are enabling human rights abuses in Xinjiang or that use US technology to fuel China’s destabilising military modernisation efforts.”
Last month, the department added five other companies and other Chinese entities to the blacklist over allegations of forced labour in the region.
This is not the first time the US government has targeted Chinese firms linked to its treatment of Muslim minorities.
READ MORE: China vs UK: What do China’s new sanctions mean for the UK?
A building believed to be a re-education centre
In 2019, the Trump administration added some of Beijing’s top artificial intelligence startups to its economic blacklist over its treatment of Muslim minorities.
Human rights groups have accused the Chinese Government of detaining more than a million Uighurs in “re-education camps”, where mass sterilisation of women and forced labour is believed to be carried out.
Last year, shocking drone footage emerged of hundreds of blindfolded and shackled men, believed to be Uighur and other minority groups, being led from a train in what appeared to be a transfer of inmates.
China has continued to deny the existence of any such camps in the Xinjiang region.
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Xi Jinping profile
Former Chinese ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming previously told the BBC: “There is no such concentration camp in Xinjiang.”
Before adding after seeing the video footage: “I do not know where you got this videotape.
“Sometimes you have a transfer of prisoners, in any country.”
Back in April, China imposed sanctions on nine British citizens, including former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith and Tom Tugendhat, chair of the House of Commons foreign affairs committee.
Chinese president Xi Jinping
The sanctions mean those named are banned from entering Hong Kong or Macau as well as mainland China.
It is believed the sanctions were imposed on those who have been outspoken over China’s persecution of the Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang region.
The Uighur community are a Turkic-speaking minority ethnic group originating from and culturally affiliated with the general region of Central and East Asia.
US President Joe Biden
Since 2015, it has been estimated that more than a million Uighurs have been detained in Xinjiang re-education camps.
According to research in June last year, the Chinese state was found to subject minority women to pregnancy checks and forces sterilisation and abortion on hundreds and thousands of people.
While the use if IUD’s and sterilisation has fallen nationwide, there was a sharp increase in the region of Xinjiang.