China has reacted outraged to US sanctions against the People's Republic over its actions against the Muslim minority of the Uyghurs. The US used "invented pretexts for their interference," wrote the Chinese Embassy in the US. The government in Washington interferes with China's internal affairs. The allegation of human rights violations in the western province of Xinjiang rejected the message.
The Chinese Embassy said that "the anti-terrorism and deradicalization measures in Xinjiang" were aimed at "eradicating the ground for extremism and terrorism". This was in line with Chinese laws and international practices and was supported by "all 25 million people of different ethnic groups in Xinjiang".
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has called on the US government to lift the recently imposed sanctions, otherwise China will resolutely protect its interests.
On Monday, just before a new round of trade talks with China, the US Department of Commerce had blacklisted 28 Chinese companies and government institutions for suppressing the Uighurs. As a result, US companies are prohibited from selling high-tech products to Chinese companies without permission from Washington.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had previously announced that he would restrict the issuance of US visas to employees of the Chinese government and the Communist Party. He also demanded that China immediately end the measures against the minority in northwestern China's Xinjiang region. All people "arbitrarily arrested" had to be released.
Human rights groups, such as Human Rights Watch, believe that more than one million Uighurs and members of other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang are detained in reeducation camps. People of this ethnic minority are related to the Turks. Many are oppressed by the ruling Han Chinese. The government in Beijing accuses the ethnic group of separatism and Islamist terrorism. Therefore, people should be forced to give up their cultural identity, religion and language. The words of the Chinese government are not camps but educational centers that would help counter Islamist radicalization.
The US and China have been facing a trade conflict for more than a year. There will be new trade talks between the two sides in Washington later this week.