The European Union, Canada, Great Britain, and the United States have reportedly imposed new sanctions on officials from China on Monday over the human rights abuses going on in China’s Xinjiang province.
According to reports, this is the first such coordinated effort by western countries against Beijing under Joe Biden, the new US President.
Meanwhile, Beijing responded by passing punitive measures against the European Union that appeared to be much bigger, which included European institutes, diplomats, lawmakers, as well as their families, while also banning them from doing business with China.
Western governments are looking to hold Beijing responsible for the mass detentions of Uighurs Muslims in north-western China, where the US claims China is conducting methodical genocide. However, China has denied all these abuse-related allegations.
Senior U.S. administration officials have stated that they are in regular contact with European governments regarding issues related to China, something they name it as the Europe roadshow.
These sanctions are the first major ones passed by the EU in decades. They follow two days of talks between both Chinese and US officials last week, which exposed the tensions between the two largest economies of the world.
The European Union also accused the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau’s director, Mr. Chen Mingguo, of arbitrary confinements and inhumane treatment of Uighurs as well as individuals from other Muslim ethnic minority groups, and systematic defilements of their freedom of belief or religion.
Others senior Chinese officials hit with asset freezers and travel bans include the secretary of the party committee of the XPCC, Mr. Wang Junzheng; the ex-deputy party secretary in Xinjiang area, Mr. Zhu Hailun; the political and legal affairs committee secretary in Xinjiang area, Wang Mingshan; and the XPCC (Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps) Public Security Bureau.
As per activists and UN rights experts, around one million Muslims have been imprisoned in concentration camps in Xinjiang. Some Western politicians and activists have even accused China of using forced labor, torture, as well as sterilizations on these prisoners.
European Union was in fact the first to impose sanctions on four Chinese officials, which included one entity, and a top security director, a decision that was emulated by Canada and Britain as well.