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China sanctions EU officials in response to their economic sanctions

On Monday, China said that it has decided to sanction ten European Union citizens, including politicians, for interfering with its internal affairs and breaking international law flagrantly. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced in a statement that it would support sanctions against the people and four EU entities for spreading malicious lies and false information.
Five Members of the EU Parliament are included in the list of those to be sanctioned: European Union Human Rights and Security Committee members — Reinhard Butikofer, Michael Gahler, Raphael Glucksmann, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, and Miriam Lexmann — and Adrian Zenz, a United States German scientist, who has published reports on minority abuses in Tibet and Xinjiang.
Beijing also indicated that it will sanction the European Union (EU) bodies, including the German Institute of Mercator Studies in China and a Danish democratic organization. The Chinese Foreign Ministry says that it will be prohibited to enter China as well as the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao for all the staff and family members involved and adding that its affiliates and institutions have been restricted from communicating with China as well.
European Union’s movement over Uyghurs against China
The European Union decided to punish China in a foreign minister’s meeting earlier this Monday for human rights abuses against the Uyghur community living there. The EU sanctions list, with its names published in the EU Official Journal, includes four regional and party representatives and construction companies from the province of Xinjiang.
This is after a long time that the EU has imposed any kind of sanctions or penalties on China. Since the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, the European Union has not imposed any punitive penalties on China for human rights abuses. 
Chen Mingguo, the Director of the Xinjiang Office of Public Security, and senior officials of China, Wang Junzheng and Wang Mingshan, have been charged with travel bans and asset freezes in Brussels. Zhu Hailun, the former Chinese head of Xinjiang, has also been targeted. Xinjiang Production and Building Corps Public Security Bureau was the company that had been hit with sanctions.
It was decided when EU Ministers for Foreign Affairs agreed on various sanctions against different countries and entities. On Monday, the EU will impose sanctions on North Korea, Russia, Libya, Eritrea, and South Sudan, among other countries. Restrictive measures were also imposed on eleven people who were involved in Myanmar’s military coup and the repression of protesters.
Why would China be sanctioned by the European Union?
Hundreds of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in China, such as Kazakhs and Huis, testified in the past few years that they are being held in detention centres. Such facilities are reported by the observers to be part of a government campaign to assimilate ethnic minorities using torture, sometimes forced labour. The camps also allegedly involved mass rapes and forced sterilization of women. According to Beijing, the camps, which have held over a million people since 2017, are vocational education centres aimed at preventing extremism and terrorism.
Causes and effects of the sanctions imposed on China
In a coordinated move, Chinese officials and bodies were punished on Monday by the European Union, the United States of America (USA), Britain, and Canada for abuses of human rights of the Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the province of Xinjiang. Australia and New Zealand issued a joint statement on Tuesday in which they welcomed the Western action, and expressed their concern at reports of Xinjiang abuses.
With its sanctions, China has retaliated. It has consistently denied all reports of atrocities against Uighurs and says that it only deradicalizes elements of its people for safety.
What are the sanctions?
European Union (EU), United Kingdom (UK), and Canadian sanctions include bans on travel and property freezing against the Xinjiang Processing and Built Corps Office of Public Security, Chen Mingguo, Xinjiang Public Security Office Director, Wang Junzheng, Xinjiang Autonomous Region Deputy Secretary of the Parties Committee, Wang Mingshan, Minister of Political and Legal Affairs.
Wang Junzheng and Chen Mingguo were also sanctioned by the United States. All property and interests in property of the individuals listed above that are in the United States or the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked as a result of today’s action and must be reported to the Office of Foreign Assets Control. Also, any companies owned 50 per cent or more by one or more blocked individuals are also blocked, according to a statement from the US Department of Treasury.
Why are they important?
This is the first time the European Union has imposed sanctions on China since the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown when an arms embargo was imposed. The embargo remains in effect. Although the EU sanctions aren’t particularly severe, they demonstrate the EU’s hardening position toward its largest trading partner.
Western powers have moved together, as a result, the United States is being able to push China together with its allies. Senior US administration officials have said, according to Reuters, that they are in daily contact with European governments on issues linked to China. The sanctions were introduced last week in what Washington described as hard and direct talks after the US-Chinese officials held a meeting in Alaska.
Why are sanctions being imposed?
A large number of Uighurs, Muslims of Turkic ancestry, live in Xinjiang. In recent decades, an increasing number of Han Chinese have moved to Xinjiang, which has seen violent clashes between them and the Uighurs.
China is now accused of interning over a million Muslims to de-Muslimize them and better integrate them into the Communist nation. These people are said to have been forced to leave their jobs, homes, and families to be in the camps. Physical, psychological, and sexual torture have been accused by survivors, human rights organizations, and governments from other countries. People can be sent to the camps if they have beards, fast during Ramzan, dress differently than the rest of the population, send Eid greetings, pray “too often,” and so on.
China claims that all it is doing in the camps is deradicalizing people and providing them with skill training so that they can avoid violence and extremism.

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