China’s foreign ministry called on the U.S. to remove eight Chinese firms from a Commerce Department blacklist Tuesday but said planned trade talks between Beijing and Washington would proceed as scheduled, according to The Associated Press.
“We urge the United States to immediately correct its wrong practices, withdraw the relevant decisions and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Tuesday. “China will continue to take firm and strong measures to resolutely safeguard the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests.”
Despite the pushback, China’s Ministry of Commerce said Vice Premier Liu He will still make his scheduled trip to Washington for trade negotiations Thursday with a delegation including the Chinese commerce minister and regulators in charge of industry, technology and agriculture, according to the AP.
The U.S. announced the addition of the companies to its “Entity List” of companies acting against U.S. foreign policy interests, saying their facial recognition technology has been used by the Chinese government to repress the nation’s Muslim minority.
“Specifically, these entities have been implicated in human rights violations and abuses in the implementation of China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups” in Xinjiang, the Commerce Department said in a federal register notice published Monday.
Vendors are prohibited from selling technology to companies on the list without permission from the U.S. government.
The companies themselves have also spoken out against their addition to the list, according to the AP.
Tech firm Megvii said it has received no revenue from projects in Xinjiang over the six-month period ending June 30, and that there are “no grounds” for its inclusion.
“We believe our inclusion on the list reflects a misunderstanding of our company,” Megvii said in a statement, according to the AP. Hikvision, another addition to the list, also said it opposes the decision.