Chinese and American flags fly in front of a corporate building in Shanghai, China on November 16, 2021.
Song of Aly | Reuters
WASHINGTON – The Biden administration said on Thursday it had imposed trade restrictions on more than 30 Chinese research institutes and entities over human rights violations and the alleged development of technologies, such as brain control weapons, which jeopardize the national security of the United States.
The Commerce Department has accused the Chinese Academy of Military Medical Sciences and 11 of its research institutes of using biotechnology “to support Chinese military end uses and end users, including alleged brain control weapons,” according to a notice published in the Federal Register.
The advisory does not provide further details on the alleged brain control weapons.
“The scientific pursuit of biotechnology and medical innovation can save lives. Unfortunately, the PRC chooses to use these technologies to exercise control over its people and its suppression of members of ethnic and religious minority groups,” wrote US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo in a statement referring to the People’s Republic of China and human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region in far western China.
The State Department has previously described the abuses against Uyghurs and members of other Muslim minorities as in the Xinjiang region as “widespread, state-sponsored forced labor” and “mass detention.”
Earlier this month, the White House announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, citing “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights violations.” .
Beijing denies abusing religious and ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.
The Commerce Department has added four more Chinese companies to its list of entities for their role in modernizing the Chinese military, which is against the interests of national security and foreign policy of the United States. .
The department also added five other Chinese companies for allegedly “acquiring or attempting to acquire technology from the United States to help modernize the People’s Liberation Army.”
U.S. officials have long complained that Chinese intellectual property theft has cost the economy billions of dollars in revenue and thousands of jobs. They also said it threatened national security. Meanwhile, Beijing maintains that it is not engaging in intellectual property theft.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC, did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
The Commerce Department has also taken action against entities located in Georgia, Malaysia and Turkey for allegedly “diverting or attempting to divert US items to Iranian military programs.”
Specifically, these entities are part of a network used to supply or attempt to supply Iran with items of American origin that would ultimately provide material support to Iranian defense industries, in violation of U.S. controls at export, ”the notice reads.
In total, the Commerce Department took action against 34 entities in China, three in Georgia, one in Malaysia and two in Turkey.