US President Donald Trump blacklisted 8 Chinese firms as Chinese trade officials arrived in Washington for trade negotiations on Monday.
The blacklist move came at a surprising time as Vice-Minister of Finance Liao Min and 30 Chinese officials met with the US Trade Representative’s office to lay down the ground work to end the 15-month US-China trade war.
According to the US Commerce Department filing obtained by Property Area, eight Chinese tech firms were blacklisted alongside China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region People’s Government Public Security Bureau and 19 other government agencies.
“They have been involved, are involved, or pose a significant risk of being or becoming involved in activities that are contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the US,” read the report.
Specifically, the US government stated in the filing that the trade blacklist was due to the organizations’ involvement in human rights violations at the direction of the Chinese government. The tech firms’ services were used to suppress Chinese ethnic minority groups the Uighurs and Kazakhs.
“The entities have been implicated in human rights violations and abuses in the implementation of China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups,” read the US government filing.
The blacklisting came in the form of adding entities to the “Entitiy List.” Companies on the list are banned from buying supply-chain parts from US firms.
The blacklisting adds more pressure to Chinese trade negotiators as they are trying to find a resolution to the US-China trade crisis before a scheduled US tariff increase comes into effect next week raising taxes on a batch of Chinese goods worth $250 billion from 25 to 30 percent.