European Union had sanctioned China for its human rights violations on Uyghurs at a Foreign Ministers Meeting on Monday in Brussels. Those in the EU sanction list include four regional party representatives, along with a construction firm in Xinjiang province, the names which then were published in the EU Official Journal.
On the other hand, China and Russian Diplomats have taken an oath to stand together against Western sanctions by enhancing cooperation and becoming less dependent on the US payments system amidst growing pressure from the Biden administration. Wang Yi and his Russian counterpart, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held a joint press conference on Tuesday and stated that they would be boosting ties and oppose Western aggression.
Both Mr Lavrov and Mr Wang condemned sanctions which have been imposed by the US, European Union, Canada and Britain against Chinese officials over the treatment of ethnic Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang. The EU has also sanctioned Russia for the detention of opposition politician Alexei Navalny. However, China’s embassy in Canberra on Tuesday has engaged in the criticism of Australia for lending its support for the Xinjiang-related sanctions.
China has been perceiving these impositions as the formation of an anti-Chinese coalition which the Chinese Foreign Ministry has been accusing the US of. However, solidarity had been expressed by Diplomats from more than 20 countries for the trial of two Canadians by China on the charge of spying.
Since the 1898 Tinammen Square Violence, no sanctions had been imposed by EU on China. Travel bans and asset freezes were then imposed on Chen Mingguo, director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau, as well as senior Chinese officials Wang Mingshan and Wang Junzheng. The former head of China’s Xinjiang region, Zhu Hailun has come under the radar of EU. The construction company that has been targeted with sanctions was the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps Public Security Bureau.
The US also emphasized that it would also be sanctioning Chen Mingguo and Wang Junzheng whereby US State Secretary, Antony Blinken commented that these two individuals had committed human rights abuses which were appalling. In addition to that, UK also announced sanctions for what she described as “industrial-scale abuses” in Xinjiang, whereas Canada issued similar measures on four Chinese officials and one entity following the footsteps of UK.
As a response to this, China also engaged in imposing sanctions on 10 European Union citizens, including politicians for their gross interference in its internal affairs as well as for the violation of international law. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement announced that it would also endorse sanctions against the individuals and four EU entities for engaging in maliciously spreading lies and false information.
A list of individuals who are to be sanctioned include five members of the EU parliament: Reinhard Butikofer, Michael Gahler, Raphael Glucksmann, Ilhan Kyuchyuk and Miriam Lexmann. In addition, EU human rights and security committee members and Adrian Zenz, a US-based German scholar who has published reports of abuse against minorities in Tibet and Xinjiang will be in this list created by China.
Beijing has stated that it will be sanctioning EU entities including Germany’s Mercator Institute for China Studies and a Danish democracy organization. China’s foreign ministry commented that stringent action will be taken against relevant personnel and their family members who thereafter will be prohibited from entering mainland China, as well as the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao, The Chinese Foreign Ministry clearly pointed out that affiliated companies and institutions have also been restricted from communicating with China.