China retaliates after coordinated sanctions by western countries over Xinjiang abuses

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Mar 23, 2021, 07:36 AM(IST)

File photo Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Soon after the coordinated western sanctions, China responded with sanctions of their own

After the US, the EU, Britain, and Canada imposed sanctions on Chinese officials for excesses against Muslims in Xinjiang region, China hit back at the countries with sanctions of their own.

Soon after the coordinated western sanctions, China responded with sanctions of their own, mostly targeting the EU - including diplomats, institutes, families, lawmakers. The sanctions now prevent EU from doing business with China.

Multiple reports over the last year have shed light on human rights abuses taking place in northwestern China, where Muslim Uighur are reportedly kept in mass detention camps. 

United States claims that China is committing genocide in the region. So far, China has denied all such accusations, calling these camps “reeducation centres” aimed at de-radicalising youth.

Also read: EU approves sanctions on China, Myanmar over rights abuses

Biden’s policy for Beijing is centred around aligning with strategic partners, in what many US officials calls the “Europe roadshow”.

"Amid growing international condemnation, (China) continues to commit genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned in a statement. A meeting with EU and NATO members is due later.

According to activists and UN rights experts, at least 1 million Muslims are currently detained in Xinjiang camps. Reports add that torture, forced labour, and sterilisations are the tactics used by the Chinese government against Muslims.

Also read: Opinion: Quad Summit's forward trajectory disturbs China

“Mounting evidence points to systemic, state-led human rights violations by Chinese authorities”, Canada’s foreign ministry had said.

China has denied all such allegations, claiming that these camps provide vocational training to counter extremism in the country.

On Monday, the EU imposed sanctions on four Chinese officials, including a top-level security director, along with another entity. Soon after, Britain and Canada followed suit.

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