Approximately 30 companies, including Chinese biotech companies, have become the targets of a new round of sanctions by the United States. Washington accused them of participating in the suppression of Uighurs in Xinjiang.
The U.S. Department of Commerce announced on Thursday, December 16 that it had added about 30 companies, including Chinese biotech companies, to the blacklist. The blacklist was particularly accused of violating the human rights of Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang Province.
“Scientific research in biotechnology and medical innovation can save lives. Unfortunately, the People’s Republic of China chooses to use these technologies to control its people and suppress members of ethnic and religious minorities,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimundo Said in a statement.
A total of 37 entities were included in the list of companies accused of participating in activities “violating US foreign policy and national security interests.”
According to documents scheduled to be published in the official gazette on Friday, the list includes Chinese companies as well as companies from Georgia, Malaysia and Turkey.
Specifically, Washington decided to restrict sensitive exports to the Academy of Military Medical Sciences and its 11 research institutions because its biotechnology work includes “so-called brain-controlled weapons,” he explained.
Human rights organizations report that China is conducting unprecedented surveillance of Uighurs, who are mainly Muslims, in northwestern Xinjiang.
They especially shared the research on facial recognition using DNA and artificial intelligence operations.
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Research institutions targeted by the latest US action include centers focused on blood transfusion, bioengineering, and toxicology.
Gina Raimundo said: “The United States will continue to strongly oppose China and Iran’s efforts to transform tools that contribute to human prosperity into tools that threaten global security and stability.”
Experts, witnesses, and the US government claimed that more than 1 million Uighurs and other Turkish-speaking Muslims were held in concentration camps in an attempt to eradicate their Islamic cultural traditions and forcibly homogenize them.
The United States called the campaign a genocide and planned to boycott the official representatives of the Beijing Winter Olympics next year on the grounds of human rights issues.
According to Beijing, these are vocational training centers and stated that, like many Western countries, the government is seeking to reduce the appeal of radical Islam after the deadly attack.