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Politburo member among three senior officials sanctioned by US for Xinjiang atrocities

Mr Chen Quanguo, a member of China’s powerful 25-member Politburo, the Communist Party Secretary of Xinjiang. (Photo courtesy: Xinhua)

(TibetanReview.net, Jul10’20) – After announcing on Jul 7 visa ban on Chinese officials responsible for keeping Tibet a no-entry zone for foreign visitors that especially included diplomats, journalists, and individual tourists, the United states has on Jul 9 announced sanctions on three named Chinese leaders for their role in the repression and persecution of Uighur Muslim in Xinjiang.

Leading the banned four officials is Mr Chen Quanguo, a member of China’s powerful 25-member Politburo, the Communist Party Secretary of Xinjiang and the architect of the highly repressive control measures in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) during his previous stint there. He is the most senior Chinese official ever to have been blacklisted by the US thus far.

“I am designating three senior CCP officials under Section 7031(c) of the FY 2020 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, for their involvement in gross violations of human rights: Chen Quanguo, the Party Secretary of the XUAR; Zhu Hailun, Party Secretary of the Xinjiang Political and Legal Committee (XPLC); and Wang Mingshan, the current Party Secretary of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau (XPSB). As a result, they and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States,” the ANI Jul 10 quoted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as saying in a statement.

The UN estimates that around one million mostly Uighur Muslims have been removed from their homes and incarcerated in re-education camps that China euphemistically describes as vocational skills training centres necessary to combat “extremism”.

“The United States calls upon the world to stand against the CCP’s acts against its own minority communities in Xinjiang, including mass arbitrary detention, forced labour, religious persecution, and forced birth control and sterilisation,” aljazeera.com Jul 10 quoted a White House official as telling reporters.

The blacklisting is “no joke,” Reuters Jul 9 quoted the official as saying. “Not only in terms of symbolic and reputational affect, but it does have real meaning on a person’s ability to move around the world and conduct business.”

The aljazeera.com report cited the US Treasury Department as saying Chen implemented “a comprehensive surveillance, detention, and indoctrination program in Xinjiang, targeting Uighurs and other ethnic minorities” through the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau.

The report cited Pompeo as saying he was also imposing further visa restrictions on Chen, Zhu, and Wang, barring them and their immediate family from the United States.

The sanctions were imposed under the Global Magnitsky Act, a law that allows the US government to target human rights violators around the world with freezes on any US assets, US travel bans and prohibitions on Americans doing business with them.

Chen was previously made the party secretary of TAR in 2011. He developed there an extensive network of police surveillance and control to quell unrest and restore stability. He moved to Xinjiang in 2016 and “accomplishing in a single year what took him five years in Tibet,” Adrian Zenz and James Leibold were cited as saying in a report on Chen published by the Jamestown Foundation.

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