China urges U.S. to remove sanctions on Chinese firms

HONG KONG (Reuters) - China strongly urges the U.S. to remove sanctions on Chinese firms and will take any necessary measures to firmly protect its own interests, China’s commerce ministry said in a statement late on Tuesday.

The U.S. government on Monday expanded its trade blacklist to include some of China’s top artificial intelligence startups, saying it was in reaction to Beijing’s treatment of Muslim minorities. The move ratcheted up tensions ahead of high-level trade talks in Washington this week.

The ministry also said it strongly urges the U.S. to stop making irresponsible remarks on the Xinjiang issue and to stop interfering in China’s internal affairs.

Reporting by Twinnie Siu; Editing by Chris Reese