US and its allies announce sanctions against China for “genocidal campaign against Uyghur Muslims”

The United States, Canada, Britain, and the European Union announced coordinated sanctions against two Chinese officials on Monday over what U.S. officials have called a genocidal campaign against Uyghur Muslims.

Through the sanctions, the U.S. and its allies created a unified show of force by issuing condemnations in coordination with the sanctions, seemingly in an attempt to isolate and pressure Beijing. The EU announced its sanctions, followed by the US designations, then a joint statement from US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and the foreign ministers of the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. “The evidence, including from the Chinese Government’s own documents, satellite imagery, and eyewitness testimony is overwhelming. China’s extensive program of repression includes severe restrictions on religious freedoms, the use of forced labor, mass detention in internment camps, forced sterilizations, and the concerted destruction of Uyghur heritage,” the joint statement said, adding that all five countries—the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom—had taken action alongside the EU.

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The United States designated Wang Junzheng, the Secretary of the Party Committee of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, and Chen Mingguo, Director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau. In a statement, the Treasury Department said, “These individuals are designated pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and targets perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption.”

Andrea M. Gacki, the Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control for the Treasury Department, added, “Treasury is committed to promoting accountability for the Chinese government’s human rights abuses, including arbitrary detention and torture, against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities.” China responded quickly with tit-for-tat penalties, announcing sanctions on Monday against four entities and 10 EU politicians for “maliciously spreading lies and disinformation.” They will be banned from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, with their related companies and institutions restricted from doing business with China, according to CNN.

China also sanctioned four entities including the Political and Security Committee of the Council of the European Union, Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament, the Mercator Institute for China Studies, and the Alliance of Democracies Foundation. In their statement, China said, “The Chinese government is firmly determined to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests.” It continued, adding, “The Chinese side urges the EU side to reflect on itself, face squarely the severity of its mistake and redress it. It must stop lecturing others on human rights and interfering in their internal affairs.”





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