China has rejected US sanctions on Chinese officials and said it will impose “reciprocal measures” on US institutions and individuals.
“We firmly reject US sanctions on Chinese officials. The wrong move is serious interference in China’s internal affairs and detrimental to China-US relations. China decides to impose reciprocal measures on US institutions and individuals with egregious behaviours on Xinjiang,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian, said on Friday during a press briefing.
The US on Thursday (local time) imposed sanctions and visa restrictions against some senior officials of Chinese Communist Party in response to the human rights violations in Xinjiang.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement that he was designating three senior CCP officials under relevant US laws for their involvement in gross violations of human rights and they and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States.
The officials are Chen Quanguo, the Party Secretary of XUAR; Zhu Hailun, Party Secretary of the Xinjiang Political and Legal Committee (XPLC) and Wang Mingshan, the current Party Secretary of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau (XPSB).
The Uighurs are a majority in the Xinjiang province, situated in the western part of China.
Many international human rights organisations have accused China of cracking down on the Uighurs by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and sending members of the community to undergo some form of forceful re-education or indoctrination.
Pompeo also said that he was also placing additional visa restrictions on other CCP officials believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, the unjust detention or abuse of Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and members of other minority groups in Xinjiang pursuant to the policy announced in October 2019.
The development comes days after Pompeo announced visa restrictions on some Chinese officials under the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, 2018.