The Biden administration intends to blacklist more than 10 Chinese companies, following alleged human rights violations in China, Reuters reported today (Friday). According to the report, the economic sanctions come in response to human rights violations and surveillance technologies committed in Xinjiang province in the country.
This action by the United States Department of Commerce comes after last month five companies were added to the blacklist of Chinese entities, whose oil has been linked to allegations of forced labor in the Xinjiang region.
China, for its part, has denied allegations of human rights abuses and forced labor in the province, saying its policy came to suppress attempts at terrorism by extremist religious figures, amid tense relations between the Han and Uighur minorities in the country.
About a month ago, Biden continued a move by his predecessor as Donald Trump and signed an order banning investments on the part of American companies in dozens of Chinese companies, which are engaged in military fields and surveillance technologies.
The order will take effect on August 2 this year, and will include 59 companies, including communications giant Huawei. The full list of companies is expected to be updated later. Under the new order, U.S. investors will not be allowed to purchase securities from companies, including the Chinese Nuclear Corporation.
The list of companies that preceded the current one included 31 surveillance technology companies, and was designed to ensure that Americans would not fund the military industry in China, according to a White House source. The source said that “the ban was aimed at these companies in order to maximize the impact of sanctions, while the damage in the global market is minimal. The White House said that in the coming months more companies will be added to the new executive order.
Huawei has addressed this in the past, claiming that the sanctions imposed on it by the United States in 2019 have greatly affected its business. In the United States, they claimed that the move against the company stemmed from a fear of a security danger, when last July, the United Kingdom also announced a cessation of work with the Chinese company.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman announced that he would respond to this and said that “China will take the necessary measures to safeguard its legitimate rights as well as its interests and those of its enterprises, in accordance with the law.”
As you may recall, with the beginning of President Biden’s tenure last January, China has announced that it will impose broad sanctions on key figures in the Trump administration. The most prominent figure on the list was probably Mike Pompeo, who was the US Secretary of State. China announced the imposition of sanctions just minutes after Joe Biden was officially sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.