The dispute over the arrest of hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs in China has other diplomatic consequences. This time, the government in Beijing wants to meet critics in the United States and Canada.
China has also imposed punitive measures against politicians from the United States and Canada in response to sanctions against the Uyghur crackdown. The Foreign Ministry in Beijing said that two members of the US Committee for International Religious Freedom, Gail Mansion and Tony Perkins, as well as Canadian Representative Michael Chung and the Canadian Parliamentary Committee for Human Rights.
The United Kingdom, the European Union, Canada and the United States imposed sanctions on China earlier this week over the crackdown on the Uyghur Muslim minority in the northwestern province of Xinjiang. Beijing reacted angrily to the measures, imposing sanctions on ten politicians and scholars as well as four organizations from the European Union, including the European Parliament Reinhard Boutiqufer (The Greens).
Hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs in Chinese camps
China accused the United States and Canada of imposing sanctions “based on rumors and misinformation.” The sanctioners “should stop political manipulation in Xinjiang-related cases and stop interfering in any way in China’s internal affairs,” the ministry said.
Those affected will no longer be allowed to enter mainland China or the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao, and their assets will be frozen there. Chinese citizens and enterprises are prohibited from cooperating with them.
According to human rights organizations, there are at least a million Uighurs and other Muslims imprisoned in hundreds of detention camps in Xinjiang. There they were reportedly forced to abandon their religion, culture and language, and in some cases were ill-treated. Beijing denies the allegations and talks of training and employment programs aimed at combating extremism in the region.