China rips new US sanctions on tech firms

China rips new US sanctions on tech firms
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China's Ministry of Commerce said Wednesday that U.S. officials are wrong to say Chinese tech firms aid efforts to repress the country's native Uighur population in the country's northwestern Xinjiang province, and demanded an end to U.S. sanctions over the issue.

The Associated Press reported that a statement from China's Commerce ministry told reporters that U.S. officials should cease making "irresponsible" remarks about China's treatment of Muslim minority residents if the two sides are to reach a trade agreement that has eluded negotiators for months.

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“We strongly urge the United States to immediately stop making irresponsible remarks on the issue of Xinjiang, stop interfering with China’s internal affairs and remove relevant Chinese entities from the Entity List as soon as possible,” the agency said in a statement, according to the AP. “China will take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard Chinese interests.”

A spokesman for the agency added at a daily press briefing that Chinese negotiators were en route to the U.S. for another round of trade talks, and stressed that the two sides should seek a middle ground on the issue.

“We hope the United States can work together with China to meet each other halfway and promote progress in consultations,” he said.

China has blamed violence in Uighur-majority communities on international Islamic terrorist organizations, though human rights experts deny that to be the case and argue instead that China is taking steps to disrupt or even ethnically cleanse the native minority population.

Those sentiments were shared by Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoHillicon Valley: Amazon alleges Trump interfered in Pentagon contract to hurt Bezos | Federal council warns Trump of cyber threats to infrastructure | China to remove foreign technology from government offices Trump, Russian foreign minister to meet Tuesday Impeachment, Ukraine, Syria and warheads color Washington visit by top Russian diplomat MORE, who argued that China's efforts were not focused on combating terrorism.

“I want to make clear that China’s repressive campaign in Xinjiang is not about terrorism,” Pompeo told reporters in September.

“It’s about China’s attempt to erase its own citizens," he added last month. "We call on all countries to resist China’s demands to repatriate the Uighurs.”