China Issues Retaliatory UK Sanctions over Alleged Xinjiang “Lies and Disinformation”

China announced on Friday that it will issue sanctions against nine people and four organizations in the United Kingdom (UK) for spreading “lies and disinformation” regarding Beijing’s treatment of Uighurs and other minority Muslim groups.

China’s foreign ministry said in a statement that it had imposed “unilateral sanctions on relevant Chinese individuals and entity, citing the so-called human rights issues in Xinjiang.”

“China is firmly determined to safeguard its national sovereignty, security, and development interests, and warns the UK side not to go further down the wrong path,” the ministry added.

Those sanctioned include five members of Parliament — Tom Tugendhat, Iain Duncan Smith, Neil O’Brien, Tim Loughton, and Nusrat Ghani — and two members of the House of Lords, David Alton and Helena Kennedy, as well as academic Joanne Smith Finley and barrister Geoffrey Nice.

Four entities were also named by Beijing: the China Research Group, Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, Uyghur Tribunal, and Essex Court Chambers.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson backed those who were sanctioned by China.

“The MPs and other British citizens sanctioned by China today are performing a vital role shining a light on the gross human rights violations being perpetrated against Uighur Muslims,” he said in a tweet.

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