China imposes sanctions on US officials

Mutual sanctions are increasing tensions over the situation in Xinjiang.

Diego Azubel / dpa (avatar)

China has imposed sanctions on four members of a US government commission on international religious freedom. The Chinese Foreign Ministry will take other measures depending on the development of the situation.

China has imposed sanctions on four members of a US government commission on international religious freedom. The People’s Republic of China has issued punitive measures in retaliation for the sanctions imposed by the United States on Chinese officials for their human rights violations in their dealings with Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region.

Mutual sanctions are increasing tensions over the situation in Xinjiang. Washington imposed a ban on importing products from the region unless companies could demonstrate that they were manufactured without forced labor involvement. In addition, the United States wants a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing next year, while activists are calling for a complete boycott. China has denied any abusive behavior in the region and responded by calling for a boycott of foreign shoe and clothing companies.

The chair of the US commission and three other members are no longer allowed to travel to mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that the assets they may have in the country will be frozen. Legian identified that those affected are committee chairwoman Nadine Mainza, vice president Nuri Turkel, and members Anorima Bhargava and James Carr. Zhao did not disclose whether they have assets in China.

China announced the response after the US Treasury imposed sanctions on December 10 on two officials allegedly involved in the suppression of Uyghurs and other Muslim-majority minorities in the Xinjiang region. Beijing has been accused of mass arrests, forced abortions, and other abusive practices.

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The US Treasury targeted Shohrat Zakir, who headed the government of Xinjiang from 2018 until the beginning of this year, and Erkin Tuniyas, who now holds the position and was a former vice president.

“The United States should withdraw the so-called sanctions and stop interfering in Xinjiang affairs and China’s internal affairs,” Zhao said. He announced that China will impose further measures based on the development of the situation.

dpa

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