- US to blacklist 28 Chinese entities, says they are implicated in rights violations and abuses targeting Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region.
- The move comes in the wake of strained US-China trade relations and an ongoing trade war between the two economic giants.
- Rights groups report around one million Uighurs and other Muslims China has detained in re-education camps in Xinjiang.
- The 28 entities blacklisted include 18 public security bureaus in Xinjiang, one police college and eight businesses.
The US is to blacklist 28 Chinese entities that it says are implicated in rights violations and abuses targeting Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region, the commerce department announced.
The United States "cannot and will not tolerate the brutal suppression of ethnic minorities within China," Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said, announcing the move, which bars the named entities from purchasing US products.
The blacklisted firms included video surveillance company Hikvision, as well as artificial intelligence companies Megvii Technology and SenseTime, according to an update to the US Federal Register set to be published Wednesday.
The ban comes amid heightened tensions between the US and China, particularly over trade policy and Beijing's actions in the western Xinjiang region.
The world's two biggest economies are in the midst of a trade war, having exchanged punitive tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in bilateral trade.
On Monday, the White House announced that talks between the two countries were set to resume on Thursday, with Beijing's top trade envoy Liu He due to meet US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
The US has meanwhile stepped up its rhetoric against Beijing over its policies in Xinjiang.
Rights groups say China has detained around one million Uighurs and other Muslims in re-education camps in the region -- actions that Washington has said are reminiscent of Nazi Germany.
During last month's United Nations General Assembly, the State Department organized an event to highlight the plight of the Uighurs, with the US's second-highest diplomat John Sullivan decrying "China's horrific campaign of repression."
"In Xinjiang, the Chinese government prevents Muslims from praying and reading the Quran, and it has destroyed or defaced a great number of mosques," Sullivan said.
"This is a systematic campaign by the Chinese Communist Party to stop its own citizens from exercising their unalienable right to religious freedom."