WASHINGTON, Jan 8 (Reuters) - A U.S. congressional study released on Wednesday called for sanctions against China over human rights abuses, and for U.S. officials to keep rights concerns in mind in dealings with Beijing, including trade negotiations.
The annual human rights report from the Congressional-Executive Commission on China said that human rights and rule of law conditions worsened in China from August 2018 to August 2019, the period covered by the report.
The report focused extensively on treatment of minority Muslim Uighur population in Xinjiang, "where the Commission believes Chinese authorities may be committing crimes against humanity," the report said.
"In addition, the Administration should develop talking points for U.S. Government officials - including those engaged in trade negotiations - that consistently link freedoms of press, speech, and association to U.S. and Chinese interests," the report said.
The Commission is led by Democratic Representative Jim McGovern and Republican Senator Marco Rubio.
The report was only the latest salvo from Washington over China's human rights record, particularly the treatment of Uighur Muslims in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, where at least a million people have been detained in what is seen as a grave abuse of human rights and religious freedom. China rejects the charges.
Legislation to address the situation has stalled in Congress, amid Trump administration trade talks with China.
In Xinjiang, the report said, the Chinese government also has used facial recognition cameras and mobile telephone monitoring systems to create what has been called an "open-air prison."
"U.S. foreign policy must prioritize the promotion of universal human rights and the rule of law in China, not only to respect and protect the basic dignity of the people of China, but to better promote security and prosperity for all of humanity," the report said.
To address abuses, the report recommended a range of actions, including tightening access to U.S. capital markets for Chinese companies that have provided support or technical capabilities to repression in Xinjiang.
It also recommends imposing human rights sanctions against Chinese businesses and officials involved in the mass internment and surveillance of Uighurs.
And it recommended controlling sales of facial recognition systems, machine learning and biometric technology by placing Xinjiang government and security agencies on the U.S. Department of Commerce's "Entity List", which would prevent them from buying from U.S. suppliers.
It recommended that Congress pass legislation putting export controls and limits on U.S. government purchasing from China, to allow a "more robust" reaction to Beijing's actions in Xinjiang. (Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Michael Perry)