The United States applied new sanctions against the Chinese regime for the abuses of the Uighurs in Xinjiang.
The US Department of Commerce blocked Chinese biotech companies identified for human rights violations, accusing them of high-tech surveillance of the Muslim minority.
On Thursday, Joe Biden's government announced new sanctions against several Chinese biotechnology and surveillance companies and government entities for their actions in Xinjiang province, the latest measure against the Xi Jinping regime for human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims. In the western region of the country.
The Commerce Department blocked the Chinese Academy of Military Medical Sciences and its 11 research institutes that focus on biotechnology to support the Chinese military.
The measure will prohibit North American companies from selling components to these entities without a license. "The scientific pursuit of biotechnology and medical innovation can save lives. But, unfortunately, the People's Republic of China chooses to use these technologies to pursue control of its people and the repression of members of minority ethnic and religious groups. "Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in a statement.
"We cannot allow American commodities, technologies, and software that support medical science and biotechnical innovation to be diverted to uses contrary to the national security of the United States," he added.
The Treasury Department is also preparing to impose sanctions on several Chinese entities. A senior Biden administration official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity, referring to measures that will be announced soon.
The official, explaining the actions of the Commerce and Treasury departments, claimed that US intelligence concluded that the Chinese regime created a high-tech surveillance system throughout Xinjiang that uses biometric facial recognition and has collected DNA samples from all residents, ages 12-65, as part of a systematic effort to crack down on Uighurs.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian responded on Wednesday to reports that the United States was announcing new sanctions and accused the Biden administration of "continually intensifying the irrational suppression of Chinese companies."
"China will closely monitor developments and will resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies," the Chinese official warned.
The Commerce Department, in a rule detailing its decision, reported that a review by multiple federal agencies had determined that Chinese academia and research institutes "use biotechnology processes to support Chinese military uses and end-users, to include the supposed brain control weaponry."
The Treasury Department also announced a ban on US investment in Chinese facial recognition company SenseTime over concerns the technology would be used to oppress Uighurs last week.
The White House announced last week that it would conduct a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing, citing "egregious human rights abuses and atrocities by China in Xinjiang." American athletes will compete, but Biden will not send the usual contingent of diplomats.
This week, the administration also said that it supported bipartisan legislation that bans imports into the United States from Xinjiang unless the companies can show that the products were not produced through forced labor.
China has denied any abuse and says its measures are necessary to combat terrorism and the separatist movement.
UN experts and human rights groups estimate that more than a million people, mostly Uighurs and members of other Muslim minorities, have been detained in recent years in a vast system of camps in the Xinjiang region, on extreme western China.
The Chinese regime, for its part, describes these sites as vocational training centers and ensures that its objective is to reduce the risk of Islamic radicalism spreading after a series of deadly attacks.