(TibetanReview.net, Dec10’22) – Under its Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, the United States has on Dec 9 included two top Chinese officials in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) among 40 individuals and entities in nine countries for human rights abuses and corruption, coinciding with the commemorations of International Anti-Corruption Day and Human Rights Day, respectively, on Dec 9 and 10.
The two sanctioned for “serious human rights abuse” in occupied Tibet have been named as Wu Yingjie, who was China’s party chief in TAR from 2016 to 2021, and Zhang Hongbo, China’s police chief in the Himalayan region since 2018 and who is still believed to be in charge.
The United States has blocked any US assets and criminalized transactions with these two Chinese officials.
“Our actions further aim to disrupt and deter the People’s Republic of China’s arbitrary detention and physical abuse of members of religious minority groups in the Tibetan Autonomous Region,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said in a statement.
“The PRC has targeted Tibetans under ‘social stability work’ programmes for decades,” the Treasury Department said in a statement.
Wu directed a policy of “stability” in TAR that included “serious human rights abuse, including extrajudicial killings, physical abuse, arbitrary arrests and mass detentions,” the statement said.
“Additional abuses during Wu’s tenure include forced sterilization, coerced abortion, restrictions on religious and political freedoms and the torture of prisoners.”
Zhang has engaged in abuses including torture and killing of prisoners through running detention centers across Tibet, it said.
The Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which was signed into law by then-president Barack Obama in 2012, empowers the United States to unilaterally prosecute foreign nationals accused of acts of corruption or violations of fundamental rights.
The new sanctions follow a string of similar US moves against Chinese officials that stretch back to former president Donald Trump’s administration.
Under the direction of Trump’s then-secretary of state Mike Pompeo, the Treasury Department sanctioned Chen Quanguo, then the Communist Party secretary of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region (XUAR), the highest ranking Chinese official to be sanctioned by the US government. Chen was the TAR party chief before Wu.