Navigation
  •  

China announces more tit-for-tat sanctions on U.S., Canadian citizens over Xinjiang criticism

Police checkpoint in Xinjiang Uyghur autonomy district (农业学大寨/WikiCommons)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Beijing has announced sanctions against two Americans, a Canadian, and a rights advocacy group over their criticism of China’s treatment of Uyghurs in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said China’s tit-for-tat measure would only focus more attention on “genocide” and rights abuses against ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslim groups in Xinjiang.

“Beijing’s attempts to intimidate and silence those speaking out for human rights and fundamental freedoms only contribute to the growing international scrutiny of the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang,” Blinken said.

China’s action comes after the European Union, Britain, Canada and the United States sanctioned several members of Xinjiang’s political and economic hierarchy last week over rights abuses in the region.

China has retaliated in recent days by announcing its own sanctions against public officials and citizens of the EU, Britain, Canada, and the United States who have been critical of Beijing’s policies.

China’s Foreign Ministry has accused the United States and Canada of imposing sanctions “based on rumors and disinformation.”

Those named on March 27 as the latest targets of Chinese sanctions include two members of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, Gayle Manchin and Tony Perkins, Canadian member of parliament Michael Chong, and a Canadian parliamentary committee on human rights.

They are prohibited from entering mainland China, Hong Kong, and Chinese-administered Macau.

‘Badge Of Honor’

Chong said being sanctioned by Beijing was a “badge of honor.”

“We’ve got a duty to call out China for its crackdown in #HongKong & its genocide of #Uyghurs,” Chong tweeted.

“We who live freely in democracies under the rule of law must speak for the voiceless.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the measures as “an attack on transparency and freedom of expression.”

International human rights groups says at least one million Uyghurs and people from other mostly Muslim groups have been held in camps in Xinjiang.

Rights groups also accuse Chinese authorities of forcibly sterilizing women and imposing forced labor.