The US government imposed trade restrictions on five companies in China, citing forced labor and human rights abuses in Xinjiang province, the White House announced Thursday.
The Commerce Department added the companies to its entity list "for participating in the practice of, accepting, or utilizing forced labor in Xinjiang and contributing to human rights abuses against Uyghurs and other minority groups in Xinjiang," it said.
The companies included Hoshine Silicon Industry, Xinjiang Daqo New Energy, Xinjiang East Hope Nonferrous Metals, Xinjiang GCL New Energy Material Technology and Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.
It noted Hoshine used forced labor to manufacture silica-based products and the US ports of entry will immediately begin detaining shipments that contain silica-based products made by the company.
China's forced labor practices "run counter to our values as a nation and expose American consumers to unethical practices," in addition to leaving American businesses and workers to compete on an uneven playing field, said the White House.
The US banned certain products imported from Xinjiang in January and directed its ports to detain cotton and tomato products grown and produced by entities operating in the province.
China has been widely accused of putting the Uyghurs population into camps and there have been reports of the forced sterilization of Uyghur women. Many Uighurs -- as many as 1.6 million, according to the World Uyghur Congress -- have left China to live abroad.
Rights groups, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, accuse Beijing of oppressing 12 million Uyghurs.
China has repeatedly denied allegations it is operating detention camps in the northwestern autonomous region, claiming instead that it is "re-educating" Uyghurs.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.