Call for US to remove China tech firms from blacklist

World | ASSOCIATED PRESS 26 May 2020

China demanded yesterday that Washington withdraw export sanctions imposed on Chinese companies in the latest round of a worsening conflict over technology, security and human rights.

The foreign ministry accused the Trump administration of interfering in China's affairs by adding eight companies accused of playing roles in a crackdown in Xinjiang to an export blacklist.

Washington also imposed controls on access to American technology for 24 companies and government-linked entities it said might be involved in obtaining goods with potential military uses.

The US decision "violated basic norms of international relations" and "harmed China's interests," said ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian.

"We urge the United States to correct its mistakes, revoke the relevant decision and stop interfering in China's internal affairs," Zhao said.

The US Commerce Department accused one company cited Friday of "engaging in human rights violations" in connection with Xinjiang. The rest are accused of "enabling China's high-technology surveillance" in the region.

The company accused of human rights violations, Aksu Huafu Textiles Co, said the US decision "recklessly disregards facts."

One prominent name on the sanctions list is Qihoo 360, a major supplier of anti-virus software and a web browser. Qihoo 360 accused the Commerce Department of "politicizing business" and commercial research.

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