China slaps retaliatory sanctions against US officials including two senators

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Jul 13, 2020, 03.04 PM(IST)

US China Trade Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Washington had recently taken out sanctions against senior Chinese officials over the mistreatment of Uighur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang

China retaliated to United States’ sanctions by slapping its own against American officials on Monday.

Washington had recently taken out sanctions against senior Chinese officials over the mistreatment of Uighur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang. The ethnic minority has been forcefully put into internment camps, aimed at deradicalising them. China calls them “education centres”.

The sanctions by China target many US officials, including two senators.

'Corresponding sanctions'

Hua Chunying, the spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry said that the sanctions target US Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, US Representative Chris Smith,  Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. Chunying referred to China’s actions as “corresponding sanctions”.

Also read: Amid pandemic, US sanctions Chinese officials over Uighur abuses

The Congressional-Executive Commission is meant to trace and record human rights in China, and whether their laws enable protection of human rights. As part of this commission’s work, an annual report is submitted to US president and the US Congress every year.

'Internal affair'

While talking about the US sanctions, the Chinese representative accused the US of attempting to interfere in China’s internal affairs, and called it a violation of international relations.

"The US actions seriously interfere in China's internal affairs, seriously violate the basic norms of international relations and seriously damage Sino-US relations," she said during a briefing.

Also read: China to hit US with 'reciprocal measures' over Xinjiang sanctions

Additionally, she threatened more response if the situation escalates. "China will make further responses based on how the situation develops”, she added.

The US had sanctioned Chinese officials including the Communist Party secretary in the region of Xinjiang, and also froze many US assets. Additionally, Americans are now disallowed from travelling to the region, and also banned from doing any business with the officials.

Also read: US imposes sanctions on Chinese officials over 'abuse' of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang

The Chinese representative, however, did not clarify what the sanctions propose.

According to the United Nations and various human rights organisations, Uighurs and others Muslim minorities are forcefully held in detention centres. What China calls skill development centres are essentially camps where human rights violations may be occurring without any accountability. China claims this is done to weed out terrorism and extremism, but activists are wary.

(With inputs from Reuters)