US to add 33 Chinese entities to blacklist

The US government says it will add 33 Chinese companies and institutions to an economic blacklist for committing human rights violations or using US technology for military purposes.

The Department of Commerce made the announcement on Friday.

The entities include the Public Security Ministry's Institute of Forensic Science, and companies focusing on artificial intelligence and 5G communication networks.

Some entities were included for alleged human rights violations and abuses, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor and high-technology surveillance against Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities. Others were added for allegedly helping to source items for the Chinese military.

They will be subject to sanctions that restrict their access to American technology and the purchase of US-related goods.

The development follows a similar measure last October when the Commerce Department announced a ban on trading with 28 Chinese public bureaus and companies, including a video surveillance firm, over the treatment of Uighurs.

The move is the latest escalation in the row between the United States and China, which has intensified this year over the coronavirus pandemic and more recently over the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement.