U.S. hits China over human rights. Beijing says it’s just a distraction from NBA, trade talks

The Los Angelese Times
Date: Oct. 9, 2019
By: Alice Suchina

BEIJING —  Why would the United States blacklist a Chinese police station? What do law

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang during a daily briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Beijing earlier this year.(Andy Wong / Associated Press)
enforcement figures in the region of Xinjiang have to do with trade?

Such questions rippled across Chinese social media this week as the U.S. Commerce Department added 28 Chinese companies and public security bureaus to a list of entities barred from making purchases from U.S. companies without special approval.

The list includes eight high-tech companies that provide China’s top artificial intelligence and surveillance services, such as Hikvision, SenseTime and IFlytek, along with the public security bureau and 19 related government agencies in the northwestern region of Xinjiang. The move comes as the U.S. and China prepare for another round of trade negotiations this week and as the rift between China and the NBA continues to widen.

The steps mark the first serious action the U.S. has taken to penalize Chinese entities for human rights violations they say include mass incarceration and high-technology surveillance of Uighurs, Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.

On Tuesday, the State Department said it would also stop issuing visas to Chinese government and Communist Party officials believed to be responsible for or complicit in the detentions and surveillance of Muslims in Xinjiang.

Both measures are unprecedented steps lauded by human rights advocates as the first concrete actions taken by any country since the plight of at least a million forcibly detained Muslims, according to the United Nations, became public knowledge two years ago.    [FULL  STORY]