US government has announced visa restrictions on Chinese government and Communist Party officials it believes responsible for the detention or abuse of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang province and widened its trade blacklist to include some of China’s top artificial intelligence startups.
China has denied any mistreatment of Uighurs.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington in a statement on Tuesday denounced the visa action and said the US accusations on human rights violations were “made-up pretexts” for interfering in China’s affairs.
On Wednesday, Beijing called on Washington to withdraw the measure.
Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that China‘s treatment of Muslims, including the Uighurs, in western China was an “enormous human rights violation” and that Washington would continue to raise the issue.
“This is not only an enormous human rights violation, but we don’t think it’s in the best interests of the world or of China to engage in this kind of behaviour,” Pompeo said in an interview with PBS, a public broadcaster in the United States.
Asked whether Chinese President Xi Jinping was responsible for the situation, Pompeo said: “Xi Jinping leads the country just like the leader of a tank platoon, a small business or a country is responsible for the things that happen in your name.”