UPDATE 2-U.S. provides 14 Chinese firms, to financial black list around Xinjiang

(Updates with additional facts, background, Chinese response)

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON, July 9 (Reuters) – The Biden administration on Friday added 14 Chinese firms and other entities to its economic blacklist in excess of alleged human legal rights abuses and higher-tech surveillance in Xinjiang.

The Commerce Department reported the companies had been “implicated in human legal rights violations and abuses in the implementation of China’s campaign of repression, mass detention, and higher technology surveillance from Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority teams in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.”

Beijing denies the alleged abuses.

Reuters first noted the prepared additions late Thursday.

They incorporate the China Academy of Electronics and Information Know-how Xinjiang Lianhai Chuangzhi Info Engineering Co Shenzhen Cobber Data Know-how Co Xinjiang Sailing Data Technological innovation Beijing Geling Shentong Data Know-how Shenzhen Hua’antai Intelligent Engineering Co., Ltd. and Chengdu Xiwu Stability Procedure Alliance Co., Ltd.

The Commerce Division explained in total it was introducing 34 entities together with some from Russia and Iran, and another five entities specifically supporting China’s armed forces modernization packages connected to lasers and battle management program.

“The Division of Commerce stays firmly committed to taking potent, decisive motion to goal entities that are enabling human rights abuses in Xinjiang or that use U.S. engineering to gasoline China’s destabilizing military services modernization endeavours,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo explained in a assertion.

The checklist also incorporates 8 entities for facilitating the export of U.S. merchandise to Iran and 6 entities for involvement in the procurement of U.S.-origin electronic elements, likely in furtherance of Russian armed forces courses.

The action follows the department’s choice final month to increase 5 other firms and other Chinese entities to the blacklist over allegations of pressured labor in the much western area of China.

China dismisses accusations of genocide and pressured labor in Xinjiang and states its policies are vital to stamp out separatists and spiritual extremists who plotted assaults and stirred up rigidity in between mostly Muslim ethnic Uyghurs and Han, China’s largest ethnic team.

“The Chinese side will take all needed measures to safeguard the legitimate legal rights and passions of Chinese businesses and rejects U.S. attempts to interfere in China’s inside affairs,” explained foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin on Friday.

The most up-to-date motion demonstrates President Joe Biden aims to push China in excess of what the administration suggests are worsening human legal rights abuses in opposition to the Uyghur populace in Xinjiang.

Commonly, entities added to the financial blacklist are necessary to apply for licenses from the Commerce Department and experience rough scrutiny when they search for permission to acquire merchandise from U.S. suppliers.

This is not the 1st time the U.S. federal government has specific Chinese firms joined to allegations of significant-tech surveillance activity in Xinjiang.

In 2019, the Trump administration extra some of China’s major artificial intelligence startups to its financial blacklist above its remedy of Muslim minorities.

The Commerce Division underneath Trump specific 20 Chinese community protection bureaus and eight corporations such as movie surveillance organization Hikvision, as nicely as leaders in facial recognition technology SenseTime Group Ltd and Megvii Engineering Ltd. (Reporting by David Shepardson and Humeyra Pamuk Editing by Gaerth Jones and Mark Potter)