China announces retaliation against US officials for measures taken in Xinjiang

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Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying revealed the new sanctions at a press conference on Monday, calling on the United States to “stop interfering in China’s international affairs”.

Among the US officials appointed by Hua are Senators Rubio and Cruz, two former presidential candidates, US representative Chris Smith, Ambassador General for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback and the Executive Commission of Congress on China.

“I must emphasize that the affairs of Xinjiang are the internal affairs of China and that the United States has no right to intervene,” said Hua.

“We urge the United States to immediately withdraw its wrong decision and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs or undermining China’s interests. And we will make new reactions according to the evolution of the situation. “

Hua said the sanctions would come into effect on Monday, but did not provide any further details on the measures or what they might entail.Washington’s sanctions against Chinese officials include the freezing of all U.S. assets and a freeze preventing U.S. nationals from doing business with them. Anyone sanctioned by the United States also faces visa restrictions, preventing them and their families from entering the United States.

The western region of Xinjiang in China is culturally and ethnically different from most of the rest of the country, with a large Turkish minority population, and has had a difficult relationship with the Beijing government for years.

The US State Department estimates that since 2015, up to two million Muslim-majority Uyghurs and other Turkish minorities have been imprisoned in huge re-education camps in Xinjiang as part of a crackdown. scale of the region by Beijing.

There have also been reports of demolition of historic Uighur cemeteries, Uighur families have been forced to host Communist Party officials and mass surveillance of communities in Xinjiang.

On Thursday, the United States government announced that Chen Quanguo, the leader of the Communist Party of Xinjiang, and a number of other senior local party officials would be punished, along with the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau.

“The United States will not sit idly by while the (Chinese Communist Party) commits human rights abuses targeting Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs and members of other minority groups in Xinjiang,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Thursday.

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