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China sanctions US and Canadian individuals, entities in spat over Xinjiang situation

(TibetanReview.net, Mar28’21) – In more tit-for-tat reprisal actions, China has announced sanctions against two Americans, a Canadian and a rights advocacy body late Mar 27. It was in response to sanctions imposed earlier this week by the two countries over Beijing’s genocidal treatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.

Reuters Mar 27 cited the Chinese foreign ministry as saying two members of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, Gayle Manchin and Tony Perkins, as well as Canadian MP Michael Chong and a Canadian parliamentary committee on human rights were prohibited from entering mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Besides, Chinese citizens and institutions are prohibited from doing business with the three individuals or having any exchanges with the subcommittee.

“The Chinese government is firmly determined to safeguard its national sovereignty, security and development interests, and urges the relevant parties to clearly understand the situation and redress their mistakes,” the Chinese foreign ministry was quoted as saying.

China has, however, not prohibited exchanges with the legislative bodies themselves of Western countries which had passed resolutions against it on the Xinjiang issue. That is because its own parliament delegations, including those representing occupied Tibet, visit them regularly with solicited invitations in order to impress them with their side of the story.

At least one million Uighurs and people from other mostly Muslim groups have been held in camps in northwestern Xinjiang, according to rights groups, who accuse authorities of forcibly sterilizing women, imposing forced labour, and committing a panoply of other heinous crimes against humanity there.

The European Union, Britain, Canada and the United States sanctioned several members of Xinjiang’s political and economic hierarchy this week in coordinated action over the allegations, prompting retaliation from Beijing in the form of sanctions on individuals from the EU and UK.

However, the western nations were criticized for not sanctioning higher level officials with direct responsibility for these crimes, including, in particular, Chen Quanguo, Party Secretary of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

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