Daily Management Review

Sanctions On Chinese Officials Imposed By EU Over Uighurs’ Human Rights Abuses


Sanctions On Chinese Officials Imposed By EU Over Uighurs’ Human Rights Abuses
Sanctions against four Chinese officials have been imposed by the European Union over charges of the officials being involved in human rights abuses against the mostly Muslim Uighur minority group in China.
This is the first occasion that Chinese officials have been sanctioned by the EU over human rights abuses since the 1989 crackdown on students by the Chinese military in Tiananmen Square.
A ban on them travelling in the EU and the freeze on the officials' assets in the bloc are included in the sanctions.
In response China also imposed sanctions on European officials.
According to allegations of human rights groups, Chinese authorities have detained more than a million Uighurs and Chinese citizens belonging to other Muslim minority groups and have been kept at camps in the north-west region of Xinjiang.
Accusations of forced sterilisations of Uighur women and separating children from their families have ben pressed against the Chinese government by human rights and other activist groups. There has also been video evidence from people who had been pressed into forced labour and systematic rape, sexual abuse and torture such as in investigations by the BBC.
All such allegations have been denied by China and have claimed that the camps are merely "re-education" facilities that have been set up to tackle terrorism.
Senior officials in Xinjiang who have been accused of responsibility for abuses against Uighurs have been targeted in the EU sanctions. The targeted officials include the director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau, Chen Mingguo, who has been accused by the EU of being responsible for "serious human rights violations". The list also includes senior Chinese officials Wang Mingshan and Wang Junzheng as well as the former head of China's Xinjiang region, Zhu Hailun.
Sanctions have also been imposed on an entity, the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps Public Security Bureau.
The sanctions were "based on nothing but lies and disinformation", China said on Monday. China said that in response, sanctions against 10 people and four entities in the EU "that severely harm China's sovereignty and interests and maliciously spread lies and disinformation" would be imposed by it.
Among the most high profile officials on China's list was the German politician Reinhard Butikofer, who chairs the European Parliament's delegation to China.
The Chinese sanctions include the European officials being barred from getting into China or doing any business with the country. These tit for tat sanctions were a rare escalation of diplomatic tensions between the EU and China even though these two are major trading partners.