Western Countries Impose Sanctions on China over Human Rights Abuses in Xinjiang

The United States, Canada and the United Kingdom have joined forces with the European Union to impose sanctions on several officials of China over the violation of human rights of the Muslim Uyghur minority in Xinjiang, becoming the first “coordinated action” of the Western nations against Beijing under the new U.S. President Joe Biden.

In a statement, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday that the sanctions that the federal government issued were taken in solidarity with its ally countries.

“Amid growing international condemnation, (China) continues to commit genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang,” said Blinken. “A united transatlantic response sends a strong signal to those who violate or abuse international human rights, and we will take further actions in coordination with like-minded partners.”

“Acting together sends the clearest possible signal that the international community is united in its condemnation of China’s human rights violations in Xinjiang and the need for Beijing to end its discriminatory and oppressive practices in the region,” Britain’s foreign ministry said.

The U.S. Treasury Department said it would slap sanctions against Wang Junzheng, former deputy party secretary in Xinjiang, and Chen Mingguo, the director of Xinjiang Public Security Bureau. 

The EU and Britain also said that they have also sanctioned the same Chinese officials, along with Wang Mingshan, a member of the Communist Party’s standing committee in Xinjiang, and Zhu Hailun, former head of China’s Xinjiang region.

The assets and businesses of the four Chinese officials in the EU would be frozen and they would be prohibited from entering the bloc’s borders.

Companies and residents in the EU are also not allowed to give them any financial assistance.

“Mounting evidence points to systemic, state-led human rights violations by Chinese authorities,” the Canadian foreign ministry said in a statement.

In response to the West’s coordinated effort, Beijing also issued sanctions against 10 European individuals and four institutions, citing that had been “maliciously spread lies and disinformation.”

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