President Biden signed legislation Thursday banning all goods from China connected to the Xinjiang region where it is accused of forced labor of the minority Muslim Uighur populations.
Al Jazeera reports Biden signed the bill after both houses of Congress passed the bill unanimously.
The United Nation estimates more than one million mostly Uighurs and other Muslims have been imprisoned there. China has long denied the allegations.
“This is a severe violation of international law and norms of international relations, and a gross interference in China’s internal affairs. China strongly condemns and firmly rejects it,” embassy spokesperson Liu Pengyu said in an emailed statement to CNN.
The bill allows companies to apply for waivers, but they must prove the goods were not produced with forced labor.
“The State Department is committed to working with Congress and our interagency partners to continue addressing forced labor in Xinjiang and to strengthen international action against this egregious violation of human rights,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement.
The region is a major cotton producer and also supplies much of the materials used to make solar panels.
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