WASHINGTON – The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on top Chinese officials as part of a multinational effort to punish Beijing for human rights abuses against the largely Muslim Uighur minority who are American officials have called a genocide.
The Punish Arriving days after the Biden government’s heated encounter with Chinese officials in Alaska – in coordination with the European Union, the UK and Canada – will most likely increase tensions between Washington and Beijing.
“Amid growing international condemnation, the P.R.C. continues to commit genocide and crimes against humanity ”in its western region of Xinjiang, Foreign Minister Antony J. Blinken said on Monday in a statement referring to the People’s Republic of China.
“The United States reiterates its demands on the P.R.C. to end the repression of predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and members of other ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang, including by releasing all those arbitrarily detained in detention centers and detention centers, ”he added.
The United States sentenced Wang Junzheng, secretary of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps Party Committee, and Chen Mingguo, director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau, for their roles in the detention and serious abuse of Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang said the finance department.
The sanctions were imposed under the Global Magnitsky Act, which allows the executive branch to use economic penalties to punish officials from other nations for human rights violations. The action will freeze any assets these officials hold in the United States.
The US move came hours after the European Union, UK and Canada imposed their own sanctions on Chinese officials and entities for human rights abuses in Xinjiang. The European Union targeted four Chinese officials with the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau. The UK and Canada did the same.
In response to the European Union’s action on Monday, Chinese officials imposed sanctions on 10 Europeans, including members of the European Parliament.
“This move, based on nothing but lies and disinformation, ignores and distorts facts,” said a representative from the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement Condemned the action of the European Union, adding that the efforts “severely affect China’s internal affairs” and “seriously undermine China-EU”. Relationships. “
Mr Blinken said the joint action was an effort by the United States to “work multilaterally to advance respect for human rights.” A joint statement released by top diplomats from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, among others, called for Beijing to “arbitrarily end and arbitrarily end its repressive practices against Uighur Muslims and members of other ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang releases arrested. “
Two Western allies heavily dependent on trade with China – Australia and New Zealand – issued their own Joint announcement Endorsing the sanctions related to Xinjiang, but did not announce their own penalties against Chinese officials.
China’s crackdown on Uyghurs has included forced sterilization and the sending of hundreds of thousands – if not a million or more – to indoctrination camps to promote loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party and break adherence to Islam.
In a separate action on Monday the United States announced sanctions in coordination with the European Union, which nominated military officials and other units in Myanmar for their violent suppression of democratic protests.
US action against Beijing appears to be in line with the diplomatic vision of Mr Blinken and Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor to President Biden, at their first face-to-face meeting with Chinese officials in Alaska last week. Mr Sullivan said the United States remained “divided” over the challenges facing the world’s two largest economic and technology powers.
The penalties also follow the Biden administration’s decision to impose sanctions on 24 Chinese officials for undermining democratic freedoms in Hong Kong, and are similar to the Trump administration’s strategy of using sanctions as a means to punish Chinese officials for violating human rights.
Omer Kanat, the managing director of Uighur human rights projectpraised the coordinated efforts of many nations to punish Chinese officials.
“Unprecedented cooperation between governments like this will end the genocide,” Kanat said in a statement on Monday. “This is what Uyghurs have asked – the dam has broken and the reaction has finally begun.”
Ana Swanson Contribution to reporting.