China’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences is being targeted by the Commerce Department. It also targets its 11 research institutes, which focus on biotechnology as a support for the Chinese military.
This will prohibit American companies selling components to these entities without a license.
“The scientific pursuits of biotechnology, medical innovation and medicine can save lives. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has made the decision to use these technologies in order to control its people and repress members of ethnic or religious minority groups,” Gina Raimondo, Commerce Secretary, said in a statement. We cannot allow U.S. technology, commodities, and software to be used for purposes that are contrary to U.S. security.
According to a senior administration official, the Treasury Department will also issue penalties against several Chinese entities. This was disclosed by the official on condition of anonymity in order to discuss the soon to be announced moves.
In explaining the Commerce Department’s actions, the official stated that U.S. intelligence had established that Beijing has created a high-tech surveillance system in Xinjiang that uses biometric face recognition and has collected DNA samples of all residents (ages 12 to 65) in Xinjiang as part a systematic effort against Uyghurs.
The White House announced last Wednesday that it would boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics, citing China’s “egregious human right abuses and atrocities” in Xinjiang.
This week, the administration stated that it supports bipartisan legislation to ban imports from Xinjiang into the U.S. unless companies can prove that the goods were not manufactured by forced labor.
China denies any abuses, and claims that the steps taken to counter terrorism and separatist movements are necessary.