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Chinese govt blasts US blacklist of 28 entities over Xinjiang as ‘groundless’

China hit back at the United States on Tuesday over the blacklisting of 28 Chinese entities accused of being implicated in rights violations against mostly Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region, saying the claims are “groundless”.
US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the move to bar the entities on Monday, saying his country “cannot and will not tolerate the brutal suppression of ethnic minorities within China.”
But Beijing expressed “strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition” to the blacklist and defended its policy in the western frontier region, where rights groups say more than one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities are held in re-education camps. “There is no such thing as these so-called ‘human rights issues’ as claimed by the United States,” said foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang on Tuesday.
“These accusations are nothing more than an excuse for the United States to deliberately interfere in China’s internal affairs.” The blacklisted firms included video surveillance company Hikvision, as well as artificial intelligence companies Megvii Technology and SenseTime, according to an update to the US Federal Register set to be published Wednesday.
The ban comes amid heightened tensions between the US and China, particularly over trade policy and Beijing’s actions in Xinjiang. The world’s two biggest economies are in the midst of a trade war, having exchanged punitive tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in bilateral trade.