The US Department of Commerce has listed nine Chinese enterprises on the sanctions list for its involvement in repressive practices against the Uighur minority and other Muslim minorities in the autonomous Xinjiang region.

The ministry said in a statement yesterday, Friday, that the Industry and Security Bureau affiliated to it included the Forensic Institute of the Ministry of State Security and eight Chinese companies in the sanctions list.

She added that these institutions will be subject to new restrictions in accessing American technology, and will apply strict rules when importing American products.

She pointed out that these Chinese institutions participated in the practices of repression and violation of human rights and unfair arrests against the Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the region.

Sanctions legislation
The US State Department said in its statement that the United States had previously included 28 Chinese government and commercial organizations in the sanctions list because of its involvement in a crackdown by the authorities, especially targeting the Muslim Uighur minority.

On May 15, the US Senate approved legislation calling on the administration of President Donald Trump to tighten its response to China's campaign against the Muslim Uighur minority and impose sanctions on senior officials there.

The bill - which was unanimously approved by the Republican-dominated Senate and submitted by Republican Senator Marco Rubio - also requires the US State Department to submit a report documenting violations of the Muslim minority in China.

Secret camps

Last August, a United Nations human rights committee reported that China was holding about a million Uighurs Muslims in secret camps in Xinjiang.

But Beijing denies this number, and talks about vocational training centers, to help residents find jobs and distance them from "Islamic extremism and terrorism."

The imposition of these sanctions comes with renewed diplomatic tension between Beijing and Washington against the backdrop of the Covid-19 epidemic.

Beijing has controlled the region - the site of the Muslim Uighur Turks - since 1949, and it calls it Xinjiang, meaning the new frontier.