China vows to respond after US Xinjiang sanctions passed

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China on Friday said it would take all necessary measures to safeguard its institutions and enterprises, after the US Senate passed a new law barring imports from the Xinjiang region unless businesses can prove they were produced without forced labour.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said the measure approved on Thursday “indicates that the US has no scruples about smearing China by every means”.

“The relevant actions seriously undermine the principles of market economy and international economic and trade rules, and seriously damage the interests of Chinese institutions and enterprises,” he told reporters at a daily briefing.

“China strongly deplores and rejects that and urges the US to immediately correct its mistake. China will take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese institutions and enterprises,” Wang said.

The law is the latest in a series of intensifying US penalties over China’s alleged systemic and widespread abuse of ethnic and religious minorities in the western region, especially Xinjiang’s predominantly Muslim Uyghurs.

President Joe Biden, who is expected to sign the law after overcoming the initial hesitation from the White House, and what supporters said was opposition from corporations, also announced the new sanctions Thursday.

The sanctions target several Chinese biotech and surveillance companies, a leading drone manufacturer, and government entities for their actions in Xinjiang.

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