The United States has stepped up pressure on the Chinese government to stop human rights violations committed against Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang region by imposing more sanctions on them.
“The human rights abuses committed by the Chinese Communist Party in Xinjiang, China against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities are the stain of the century,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday.
“The Trump administration has led the global effort to impose tangible costs on the PRC’s continued campaign of repression, arbitrary mass detentions, intrusive surveillance, forced labor, enforced population control, unintentional collection of biometric data and genetic analyzes targeted at these groups ”. he added.
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The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) named Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) a paramilitary organization for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and a human rights abuser.
The Treasury Department also imposed sanctions on Sun Jinlong, former political commissar of XPCC, and Peng Jiarui, deputy party secretary and commander of XPCC, for their involvement in the reported abuses.
“As previously stated, the United States is determined to use the full extent of its financial powers to hold human rights abusers accountable in Xinjiang and around the world,” Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said Friday. .
The United States has imposed several sanctions on Chinese officials and entities amid reports of human rights violations.
On July 9, Chen Quanguo, the first political commissar of the XPCC, was placed under designation by the United States.
“After arriving in the region, Chen Quanguo began to implement a comprehensive program of surveillance, detention and indoctrination in Xinjiang, targeting Uyghurs and members of other ethnic minorities,” Pompeo said in a statement. Friday.
Several US government agencies have warned companies of “the reputational, economic and legal risks” of working in the Xinjiang region because of reports of forced labor.
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The Commerce Ministry has imposed sanctions on nine Chinese entities suspected of having connections with human rights violations in Xinjiang.
China said Pompeo’s tough stance against human rights violations was nothing more than a distraction from the COVID-19 public health crisis unfolding in the United States during an election year .
“Pompeo’s remarks are a patchwork of political lies against China that ignore the facts and distort the truth,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a press conference on Friday.
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“However, they are doomed to fail because the world will not buy what they sell; peace loving people will not allow it; and the Chinese people will not be intimidated, ”added Webin without ever specifically mentioning the Uyghurs.
The United States is not alone in condemning the actions taken against the Uyghurs.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab accused China of “crass and flagrant” acts earlier this month and parliament is expected to debate sanctions.