China US Relations
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks at a news conference (Photo: Reuters / Mark Kauzlarich)

China has publicly criticized the United States' decision to blacklist 28 Chinese firms, government agencies, and security bureaus. The US Commerce Department had reasoned that the measure was a sort of punishment against the institutions for their alleged involvement in the country's "human rights violations" in the Xinjiang region.

The US announced the list of institutions on Monday, which had included China's top tech firms involved in the development of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence.

The blacklisting is somewhat similar to the US' previously imposed sanctions against Chinese tech giant Huawei. The decision comes just days before the two countries are scheduled to meet for their extended trade negotiations. Chinese trade negotiators are scheduled to arrive in Washington on Thursday to try and come up with an agreement to end the already year-long trade dispute between two of the world's largest economies.

In a statement released earlier in the week, the US Commerce Department stated that the entities on its list are those that have been found to be implicated in China's "campaign of repression" in Xinjiang.

The agency further elaborated that the Chinese government has been using advanced technologies in illegal surveillance activities against the Muslim minority groups in the area.

China has continually reasoned that the measures were necessary to tackle the growing extremism in the region. On Tuesday, China openly called the US' accusations as "groundless and senseless." Chinese officials also stated that the sanctions placed by the US against the Chinese organizations and companies were a violation of the basic rules of international relations.

Chinese officials urged the US to immediately reverse their action and to stop interfering with the country's internal affairs. China's foreign ministry issued a statement stating that China is doing everything it can to resolve the issue in Xinjiang to protect the country's national sovereignty and its interest.

As part of the consequences of being in the US' blacklist, all of the companies and organizations listed will not be prohibited from buying US products. The 28 entities that were added to the list include 20 government agencies, security bureaus in Xinjiang, and eight Chinese tech companies.

One of the tech companies that were added to the list is China's largest AI-driven surveillance products manufacturer, Hikvision. Following the news, trading of Hikvision's stocks on the Shenzhen stock exchange was immediately suspended to avoid speculative trading.

In a statement released this week, Hikvision publicly expressed its opposition to the US' decision. The company stated that it had been cooperating and working closely with US officials to address their concerns and clarify misunderstandings.