US imposes sanctions on China’s ‘state within state’, two of its officials, in Xinjiang

Mass detention of Uighur Muslims in China. (Photo courtesy: The Guardian)

(, Aug01’20) – The United States on Jul 31 imposed sanctions on a Chinese company and two officials related to the company for human rights abuses against Uighurs and other ethnic minority people in Xinjiang, reported Reuters Jul 31, citing the Treasury Department. Three weeks earlier, Washington imposed sanctions on the so-called Autonomous region of Xinjiang’s Communist Party Secretary Chen Quanguo, a member of China’s powerful Politburo, and three other officials.

The latest move blacklisted the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, also known as XPCC, along with Sun Jinlong, former party secretary of the XPCC, and Peng Jiarui, deputy party secretary and commander of the XPCC, “for their connection to serious human rights abuse against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang,” the Treasury was quoted as saying in a statement.

The move leads to the freeze of any US assets of the company and officials and generally prohibits Americans from dealing with them. The report said the Treasury also issued a license on Jul 31, authorizing certain wind down and divestment transactions and activities related to blocked subsidiaries of the XPCC until Sep 30.

The company is a quasi-military group created in 1954 and was initially made up of demobilized soldiers, who spent part of their time in military training and the rest turning the region’s arid land into farms.

Civilian members from eastern China later joined the corps. The Corp members are almost entirely Chinese.

Chinese immigrants now make up nearly 50 percent of East Turkestan, as the Uighur call their homeland.

Experts have said the group is like a “state within a state” and has established new cities in the region with schools and universities and jurisdiction over police and courts, the report noted.


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