The United States on Wednesday issued a business advisory to U.S. companies alerting them to potential risks of maintaining supply chains associated with documented human rights abuses in China's western Xinjiang province.
Issued by the State, Treasury, Commerce and Homeland Security departments, the statement urges companies to pressure China to accept responsibility for rights abuses experienced by Muslim Uighurs in the province.
China is also under fire for its recent passing of a new security law in Hong Kong, which criminalizes dissent more than a year after protesters began demanding more democratic rights.
The advisory also notes the deliberate and focused discrimination campaigns experienced by minority groups, such as ethnic Kazakhs and ethnic Kyrgyz.
A statement issued by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the departments urge businesses to consider "the reputational, economic, and legal risks of involvement with such entities" and explore alternative supply chain options.
The strong stance follows renewed trade tensions with China and a decision last month by the U.S. Commerce Department to place seven companies and two institutions on the economic blacklist for being "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."
Thirty-seven Chinese entities are on the economic blacklist, which restricts their access to U.S. goods, markets and technology.
China's foreign minister has warned the U.S. not to interfere, calling the situation in Xinjiang province an internal affair.