United States expected to announce sanctions against China for repression of Uyghurs

United States expected to announce sanctions against China for repression of Uyghurs”

The sanctions announcement comes after Thursday's and Friday's meetings in Anchorage, Alaska between American and Chinese officials, in which there was public squabbling.

Western governments are seeking to hold Beijing accountable for mass detentions of Muslim Uighurs in northwestern China.

In a statement, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said China was committing "genocide and crimes against humanity".

Activists and United Nations rights experts say at least 1 million Muslims are being detained in camps in the remote western region of Xinjiang.

It has denied the allegations of abuse, claiming the camps are "re-education" facilities used to combat terrorism.

While the USA has imposed sanctions on a number of Communist Party officials - including two Politburo members - the measures have not impacted China's economy or changed its behaviour.

One entity, the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps Public Security Bureau, was also sanctioned. The EU said Chen was responsible for "serious human rights violations".

Xinjiang's top official, Chen Quanguo, was not on the list.

The move follows two days of talks between USA and Chinese officials last week, which laid bare the tensions between the world's two largest economies. We are united in calling for China to end its repressive practices against Uyghur Muslims and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang, and to release those arbitrarily detained.

The Chinese government moved swiftly Monday to implement retaliatory sanctions against European Union officials.

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The EU faces a delicate balancing act over relations with China as it treats Beijing as a rival and also a potential economic partner.

The EU had not sanctioned China significantly since it imposed an arms embargo in 1989 following the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy crackdown, although it targeted two computer hackers and a technology firm in 2020 as part of broader cyber sanctions.

The steps were praised by the United States, with Mr Blinken saying: "a united transatlantic response sends a strong signal to those who violate or abuse global human rights".

Mr. Blinken, who is visiting Brussels this week, also praised the E.U's decision to impose sanctions: the first time, as per reports, the European Union has imposed sanctions on China since the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.

Britain has repeatedly denounced torture, forced labour and sterilisations that it says are taking place against Muslim Uighurs on an "industrial scale" in Xinjiang and repeated its criticism of Beijing on Monday.

German politician Reinhard Butikofer, who chairs the European Parliament's delegation to China, was among the most high profile figures to be hit. The former head of China's Xinjiang region, Zhu Hailun, was also targeted.

Last week, China's ambassador to the EU, Zhang Ming, had warned that Beijing would retaliate.

"The evidence of widespread human rights abuses in Xinjiang can not be ignored", British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said.

Brussels late last year sealed a major investment pact with China after seven years of negotiations, but is under pressure from the administration of new US President Joe Biden to form a united front against Beijing.

"Let this be an encouragement to all my European colleagues: Speak out", he wrote on Twitter. China has said companies and individuals have petitioned to sue Zenz, but it wasn't clear who the plaintiffs were or how they would pursue legal action across borders. The sanctions were applied under the U.S.'s Global Magnitsky Act, which means their USA assets, if any, will be frozen and US entities are prohibited from doing business with them.

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