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China plays up sanctions for Tibet actions brushed aside by their targeted two Americans

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(TibetanReview.net, Dec24’22) – Two US citizens sanctioned by China on Dec 23 in retaliation for US sanctions imposed on Dec 9 over rights abuses in Tibet say they don’t care, saying the focus should remain on Beijing’s treatment of ethnic minorities, reported the Mandarin Service of rfa.org Dec 23. China has made much of the fact, however, that counter-sanctions have been imposed and what they supposedly represent.

In recent years, every time the US has harmed China’s national interests, China has launched reciprocal countermeasures in a timely manner, said an editorial piece on China’s official globaltimes.cn website Dec 23.

“We must continue to consolidate this impression in the hearts of provocateurs who are preparing to move against China, and shape the outside world’s awe of China’s national interests through resolute counterattacks, the editorial said.

The editorial made much of the fact that “it is the first time in the history of the People’s Republic of China that counter-sanctions have been imposed on the US by order of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

* * *

Beijing accuses China-born historian and strategist Mr Yu Maochun (Miles Yu) and Mr Todd Stein of being behind actions that led to the US imposition on Dec 9 of sanctions on two of its top officials in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) for gross human rights abuses in Xizang (the Sinicized name for TAR).

They were Mr Wu Yingjie, the top party official in TAR from 2016 to 2021, and Mr Zhang Hongbo, TAR’s police chief since 2018.

Yu served as key China adviser under former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, helped reshape US policy on China during the Trump administration, and is now a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, as well as senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and professor at the US Naval Academy.

Stein has been deputy staff director at the Congressional-Executive Commission on China since 2021 and previously served as senior advisor to Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights Sarah Sewall, including serving as her lead staffer on Tibetan issues. China has also played up his role as the director of “Government Relations at the International Campaign for Tibet” (a Tibet advocacy group in Washington, DC), although this dated back to the period of 2008-2014.

* * *

Stein has said the sanctions do not bother him.

“This doesn’t matter, … What matters is the thousands of prisoners of conscience jailed by Chinese authorities. Let’s not divert attention from their human rights abuses.”

And Yu has told rfa.org, “The sanctions against me show that what I have been doing is right,” and that the sanctions “are not meaningful.”

He has said the US sanctioning of Chinese officials for their “actions against humanity and human rights is a very just thing to do, and also a very chic thing to do” which is apparently why Beijing has copied it to sanction him.

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