Madeline Sponsler, FISM News
The United States imposed sanctions on the highest-ranking Chinese official yet targeted over alleged human rights abuses against the Uighur Muslim minority. This move likely to further ratchet up tensions between Washington and Beijing.
Washington blacklisted Xinjiang region’s Communist Party Secretary Chen Quanguo, a member of China’s powerful Politburo, and three other officials. The highly anticipated action followed months of Washington’s hostility toward Beijing over China’s handling of the novel coronavirus outbreak and its tightening grip on Hong Kong.
A senior administration official who briefed reporters after the announcements described Chen as the highest-ranking Chinese official ever sanctioned by the United States.
The blacklisting is “no joke,” he said. “Not only in terms of symbolic and reputational effect, but it does have real meaning on a person’s ability to move around the world and conduct business.”
The Chinese embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment. But China has denied mistreatment of Uighur Muslims and says the camps provide vocational training and are needed to fight extremism.
The sanctions were imposed under the Global Magnitsky Act, which allows the U.S. government to target human rights violators worldwide by freezing any U.S. assets, banning U.S. travel, and prohibiting Americans from doing business with them.
Sourced from Reuters