US imposes sanctions on high ranking Chinese official over Uighur rights violation
WASHINGTON (US) – The US on Thursday imposed sanctions on a high ranking Chinese official for alleged human rights violations against the Uighur Muslim minority. This move is likely to further strain the relations between Beijing and Washington.
Xinjiang region’s Communist Party Secretary Chen Quanguo, who is a member of China’s powerful Politburo, was targetted by the US along with and three other officials. This was anticipated following months of hostility towards China over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak and the new security law imposed on Hong Kong.
A top government official said Chen is the highest ranking official to be sanctioned by the US.
The blacklisting is “no joke,” he said. “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.”
US imposed the sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act, which gives Washington the power to target human rights violators across the world by freezing any US assets, banning travel to the country and barring Americans from doing business with them.
Zhu Hailun, a former deputy party secretary and current deputy secretary of regional legislative body the Xinjiang’s People’s Congress; Wang Mingshan, the director and Communist Party secretary of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau; and former party secretary of the bureau Huo Liujun were also targetted by the US.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Chen, Zhu, Wang and their immediate families and other Chinese Communist Party officials cannot travel to the US.
The exiled World Uyghur Congress hailed the move of the US and urged the EU and other countries to follow suit.
China has denied abusing Uighur Muslims, saying the camps provide vocational training and are needed to fight extremism.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field