With Beijing's new security law in Hong Kong and China's heightening tensions with the United States, Trump's administration has sanctioned 11 additional Chinese companies on Monday denying them the right to purchase American goods if they do not possess a special license in accordance with the establishments' alleged violations of human rights.
Rising international tensions
Included in the list of barred companies is the former and current supplier of major global brands such as Apple, Ralph Lauren, Google, and several others. The Australian government's Australian Strategic Policy Institute cited the websites of the affected companies which noted their relationships with the US brands.
According to The New York Times, the officials' announcement could lead to more leading clothing and technology-based brands to opt-out of dealing with supply chains that involve Xinjiang which has been long-considered a valuable source of resources by Chinese factories.
Several human rights groups and journalists have recorded mass detention campaigns being conducted in the Xinjiang province by the Chinese government. The move has caused at least one million Muslim Uighurs, an ethnic minority in China, to be locked up inside detention camps.
Several of the detainees are forced into slave labor for factories in the camps or somewhere nearby to supplement the province's various outputs that would be used to fuel international supply chains.
A video investigation showed Chinese companies using a labor program that enforced Muslim Uighurs to increase its workforce to produce masks and other personal protective equipment, some of which were shipped to the US and several other countries.
The companies cited by Trump's administration on Monday were included in the list for their apparent use of forced labor as stated by the Commerce Department. Two other establishments, Xinjiang Silk Road BGI as well as Beijing Liuhe BGI, were incorporated into the list due to conducting genetic analysis in the suppression of the Uighur communities.
Wilbur Ross, the Commerce Secretary, stated that Beijing was actively employing and supporting illegal acts of forced labor and inhuman DNA gathering and analysis in an attempt to suppress its Uighur citizens, as reported by Channel News Asia.
The Chinese embassy located in Washington has refused to give its comment regarding the matter.
The Chinese foreign ministry criticized the United States' decision over banning Chinese companies and saying the US government is overextending its reach and authority and interfering with its domestic affairs.
The move by the US also comes after it has previously sanctioned several Chinese officials for their alleged involvement in violations of human rights.
For most of 2018 and 2019, Trump has delayed the sanctions on China over Uighur mistreatment as he was attempting to close a trade deal with Beijing that was signed into an agreement early this year.
Since January, Trump's administration has become more aggressive towards China, accusing it of purposely letting the coronavirus spread and criticizing Beijing's new security law in Hong Kong that undermined the city's autonomy and political freedom.