What's happening in Xinjiang, China, home to 11 million Uighurs?

US targets Chinese human rights officials in Xinjiang

The targets include Chen Quanuo, the Communist Party’s secretary for the region.

On Thursday, the Foreign and Financial Ministries imposed sanctions on some officials, including Chen, Xinjiang (XPLC) Secretary of the Political and Legal Committee Xhujiang (XPLC) and the current Secretary of State of the United Kingdom, the State Department. The move comes amid escalating tensions between Washington and Beijing.

“The United States will not remain inactive as the (Chinese Communist Party) commits human rights violations targeting Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs and members of other minority groups in Xinjiang, forcing them to include forced labor, including forced labor. , and are trying to eradicate their culture and Muslim faith, “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement announcing restrictions on visas against the three officials, who are preventing them and their families from entering the United States.

According to the US State Department, the Chinese government has detained “more than a million Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and members of other Muslim minority groups” who are said to be “subjected to torture, cruel and inhumane treatment and treatment, such as physical and sexual abuse.” death. ”

The top US diplomat recently condemned the “brutal repression campaign” as a “violation of human rights on a scale we have not seen since World War II”.

In recent months, the Trump administration has stepped up its aggressive rhetoric and actions toward China on all fronts, including repressing Chinese media outlets, following Chinese pharmaceuticals and cybercrime and accusing the Chinese government. “Reshape the world” image.

Pompeo said he was “imposing additional visa restrictions on other PKK officials believed to be responsible for, or talking about, unjust detention or abuse of Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs and members of other minority groups in Xinjiang.”

The US Treasury Department has appointed Chen, Zu and Wang, as well as Xinjiang’s Public Security Office and former party secretary Huo Liuzun on Thursday.

According to the definitions, “all assets and interests in the property of the entity and the persons mentioned above, as well as any entities belonging directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more of them, individually or with other excluded persons, located in the United States or the possession or control of U.S. individuals are excluded and must be reported to OFAC. “

“The United States has committed itself to using the full range of its financial resources to hold accountable human rights violators in Xinjiang and around the world,” Finance Minister Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

Local experts noted that in the past, the United States has avoided following CCP officials, making this round of sanctions significant.

“The United States has often stopped targeting Chinese Communist Party officials, and in that case you can see that this is the end of the world,” said Olivia Enos, an expert at the Heritage Foundation. “The guy who is responsible for the serious human rights violations is considered accountable. That’s huge.”

Chen was the “architect” of the repressive policies pursued by Beijing in Tibet, which were then implemented in the Xinjiang region and allowed for “rapid internalization,” Enos explained.

In a statement, Pompeo said that Chen – who is also a member of the Chinese Politburo – “had been subjected to widespread abuse in Tibetan areas, using many of the same horrific practices and policies pursued by KKK officials in Xinjiang today.”

There has been widespread congressional support for these sanctions on both sides of the aisle. Ugur’s Human Rights Policy Act was overwhelmingly passed in Congress and signed by the President last month.

“Beijing’s barbaric actions targeting the Uighur people are a rage for the collective consciousness of the people,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the time. “This House of Representatives, in a very strong bilateral way, is sending a message to the persecuted that they are not being forgotten. We are telling the President of China: you can tell these people that they are forgotten, but they have come out.”

Ugur’s Human Rights Program praised the targeted sanctions in a statement Thursday.

“Finally, the real consequences have begun. This is coming at 11 a.m. for the Uighurs,” said UHRP Executive Director Omer Kanat. “A global response has been long overdue. Now there is finally action by a government. Will other countries wait until it is really too late?”

Other human rights groups are also urging other countries to do more and target Chinese individuals so that sanctions have the greatest impact.

“The imposition of sanctions on certain Chinese officials is changing their calculations, as well as those of other officials who will be placed in these positions of power in the future,” said Maya Wang, a senior Chinese researcher at Human Rights Watch. “And that’s why it’s important to coordinate these sanctions with other governments, because that would make them more effective in the future.”

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