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Trump sanctions Chinese officials over abuses

President Trump followed up on his threat to sanction Chinese leaders who are participating in human rights abuses against the Uyghur people by slapping sanctions on Chinese officials the administration thinks are key leaders in human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang region.

“The sanctions target the US-connected financial interests of regional Communist Party boss Chen Quanguo and three other officials,” says the BBC.

Quanguo serves on China’s Communist Party’s (CCP) Politburo and was architect of previous racial oppression campaigns that China waged in Tibet.

“The United States is taking action today against the horrific and systematic abuses in Xinjiang and calls on all nations who share our concerns about the CCP’s attacks on human rights and fundamental freedoms to join us in condemning this behavior,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement.

The State Department identified the other sanctioned officials as: Zhu Hailun, Party Secretary of the Xinjiang Political and Legal Committee; and Wang Mingshan, the current Party Secretary of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau.

Neither the officials, nor their immediate family members are eligible for visas to the United States under Section 7031(c) of the FY 2020 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act.

The law allows the Secretary of State to designated foreign officials as “foreign corrupt actors” or “human rights violators” thus suspending visas for them and their immediate family.

China has been accused of running concentration camps in Xinjiang to eliminate cultural differences between the Muslim population and the dominant Han Chinese. Chinese Communists say the buildings are vocational schools. But satellite photos show the facilities are built like prisons, with guard towers, high walls and barbed wire.  

China has been implicated in crimes inside Xinjiang, including forced labor, genetic washing, forced sexual relations, forced organ harvesting, forced sterilization and forced abortions.

China’s aim is to remove any trace of Uyghur genetics and culture and replace it with the dominant Han Chinese that control the Communist Party.

“This is welcome news and long overdue. As I wrote in last week’s letter to @SecPompeo & @stevenmnuchin1, it is time to sanction those in the Chinese Communist Party who are responsible for the terrible human rights abuses against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang,” wrote Senator Todd Young (R-IN) on Twitter.

But the Chinese Foreign Ministry said they’d impose reciprocal sanctions against the U.S. and U.S. citizens.

“We firmly reject US sanctions on Chinese officials,” said Zhao Lijian, a Communist Party Foreign Ministry spokesman. “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 & individuals with egregious behaviors on Xinjiang.”  

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