China expresses a strong protest to the United States and will take the necessary measures to protect its legitimate interests in connection with the blacklisting of 23 Chinese companies, the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China said in a statement.

Earlier, the US Department of Commerce blacklisted more than 30 foreign enterprises, including some Chinese companies. In particular, one of them is attributed to involvement in “human rights violations” and the use of “high-tech surveillance” against Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other representatives of the Muslim minority in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. Other Chinese companies are allegedly involved in “activities contrary to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.” The United States has previously accused China of the genocide of the Uighur people – the titular nation of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Beijing categorically denies these accusations.

“The United States, generalizing the concept of national security, abusing export control measures, ignoring the facts, again included 23 Chinese organizations in the negative list under the pretext of human rights. This is unjustified pressure on Chinese companies and a serious violation of international economic and trade rules. China strongly opposes this,” the statement said.

The Chinese trade ministry demanded that the US “immediately correct its erroneous actions” and threatened retaliatory measures.

“We will take the necessary measures to resolutely protect our legitimate rights and interests,” the statement says.