China's foreign ministry Tuesday accused the United States of abusing export control measures, in response to reports that Washington was adding 11 Chinese companies to an economic blacklist over the treatment of Uygurs.
A view of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Photo: VCG)
China firmly opposed the move and will take all necessary measures to ensure the legitimate rights of Chinese firms, foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said during a daily media briefing.
The U.S. Commerce Department on Monday added 11 Chinese companies implicated in what it alleged human rights violations in connection with China's treatment of its Uygurs in Xinjiang, northwest China to the U.S. economic blacklist.
The department said the companies were involved in using forced labor by Uygurs and other Muslim minority groups. They include numerous textile companies and two firms the government said were conducting genetic analyses used to further the repression of Uygurs and other Muslim minorities.
Blacklisted firms cannot buy components from U.S. companies without U.S. government approval.
Wang said the U.S. side abused export control measures to put Chinese companies on the economic blacklist under the pretext of human rights. This goes against the basic norms governing international relations and is detrimental to China's interests, to which China firmly opposes.
"Washington is not concerned about human rights at all, it attempts to suppress Chinese companies, destabilize Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and smear China's Xinjiang policies. The international community sees this very clearly," Wang added.
"China urges the U.S. to correct its mistakes, revoke relevant decisions, and stop interfering in China's internal affairs."
The companies added to the blacklist include Nanchang O-Film Tech, a supplier for Apple's iPhone, which hosted Apple chief executive Tim Cook in December 2017, according to O-Film's website. It is also a supplier to Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft, according to an April congressional letter. The U.S. companies did not immediately comment.
Also added are KTK Group Co, which produces more than 2,000 products used to build high-speed trains, from electronics to seats; and Tanyuan Technology Co, which assembles high thermal conductive graphite reinforced aluminum composites.
Another company is Changji Esquel Textile Co, which Esquel Group launched in 2009. Esquel Group produces clothing for Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Hugo Boss.
Open to 5G cooperation
On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported China mulled retaliating against two major European telecom equipment makers Nokia Corp. and Ericsson AB if the European Union bars Huawei from member states' 5G networks.
It elaborated that the Chinese Ministry of Commerce is considering placing export controls on Finland's Nokia and Sweden's Ericsson that would stop them from sending products they manufacture in China to other countries.
Wang responded by saying this news came completely out of nowhere and was maliciously fabricated. "You may check out the source of this news carefully," Wang advised.
He pointed out that some European media reports all quoted the so-called insiders of the Wall Street Journal. Fabricating similar fake news is out of nothing but to provoke the healthy cooperative relationship between China and Europe.
"I would like to reiterate that China's position on the 5G issue has been consistent and clear. China remains open to telecommunications companies from various countries, including Nokia, Ericsson and other European companies, in making a foray into China's 5G markets."
The spokesperson said that the above-mentioned companies have won bids in some Chinese projects. China opposes the wrong approach of some countries to generalize the concept of national security, violate international trade rules, and exclude specific companies from specific countries.
"We hope that European countries can also provide Chinese companies with a fair, just, open, and non-discriminatory business environment."