The department said those entities were "complicit in human rights violations and abuses committed in China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs" and others.

An ethnic Uighur demonstrator wears a mask as she attends a protest against China in front of the Chinese Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, October 1, 2019.
An ethnic Uighur demonstrator wears a mask as she attends a protest against China in front of the Chinese Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, October 1, 2019. (Reuters)

The US Commerce Department has said it is adding 33 Chinese companies and other institutions to an economic blacklist for human rights violations and to address US national security concerns involving weapons of mass destruction and other military activities.

The department said it was sanctioning nine companies and institutions saying they were "complicit in human rights violations and abuses committed in China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs" and others.

The government cited seven commercial entities for enabling China's high-technology surveillance. US Commerce Department also added 24 governmental and commercial organisations to the economic list for supporting procurement of items for use by the Chinese military.

China's Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region is home to 10 million Uighurs. 

The Turkic Muslim group, which makes up around 45 percent of Xinjiang’s population, has long accused Chinese authorities of cultural, religious and economic discrimination.

Up to one million people, or about 7 percent of the Muslim population in Xinjiang, have been incarcerated in an expanding network of "political re-education" camps, according to US officials and UN experts.

Thousands of Uighurs have sought refuge in Turkey after fleeing Beijing's brutal crackdown since 2014.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies