On Monday, China demanded 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 its Muslim northwestern region of 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.
A ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian said that the US decision “violated basic norms of international relations” and “harmed China ‘s interests. We urge the United States to correct its mistakes, revoke the relevant decision and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs.”
Earlier, Beijing criticized curbs imposed on Huawei Technologies and other companies including Hikvision Digital Technology, a supplier of video security products.
On Friday, one company mentioned in connection with Xinjiang is accused of “engaging in human rights violations,” the Commerce Department said. The rest are accused of “enabling China’s high-technology surveillance” in the region.
CloudWalk Technology, one of the technology suppliers, which makes facial recognition systems, said in a statement such “unfair treatment” will hurt American companies and global development.
Aksu Huafu Textiles said in a statement that the US decision “recklessly disregards facts.” The company mentioned it won’t be harmed because any American materials can be replaced by Chinese sources.
The decision to add the companies to the Commerce Department’s Entity List limits their access to US components and technology by requiring government permission for exports.
American officials complain Beijing’s technology development is based at least in part on stolen foreign know-how and might erode US industrial leadership or threaten the security of its neighbors.
Complaints about Beijing’s technology ambitions urged President Donald Trump to raise duties on Chinese imports in 2018, triggering a tariff war that weighs on global trade.
The Commerce Department said on Friday that “represent a significant risk of supporting the procurement of items for military end-use in China.”
The most prominent name on that 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 and development on its social media account.
Companies including Huawei that were targeted by earlier US sanctions reject they are a threat.
Another blacklisted company, CloudMinds Technology, a maker of internet-linked robots, said all its products “are designed for civilian use.” It appealed to the US government on its social media account to “stop this unfair treatment.”