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U.S. administration sanctioned two Chinese officials for human rights abuses against Uyghurs

The US sanctioned two Chinese officials for Uyghurs rights abuses

March 23, 2021: On Monday, the Biden administration sanctions two Chinese officials for their roles in serious human rights abuses against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.

China’s Wang Junzheng, the Secretary of the Party Committee of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, and Chen Mingguo, director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau, were sanctioned for their connection to the “arbitrary detention and severe physical abuse, among other serious human rights abuses targeting Uyghurs,” the Department of Treasury said on Monday.

Beijing has previously rejected U.S. charges that it has committed genocide against the Uyghurs, a Muslim population indigenous to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in Northwest China.

China has also said that allegations of its use of detention camps are groundless. Instead, it uses facilities to provide vocational training to help stamp out Islamist extremism and separatism.

The Biden administration’s sanctions complement actions also taken today by the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

The sanctions come on the heels of a contentious meeting between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security advisor Jake Sullivan, and China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi and State Councilor Wang Yi in Alaska.

Ahead of the talks, Blinken slammed China’s sweeping use of “coercion and aggression” on the international stage and warned that the U.S. would mount pushback if necessary.

“China uses coercion and aggression to systematically erode autonomy in Hong Kong, undercut democracy in Taiwan, abuse human rights in Xinjiang and Tibet, and assert maritime claims in the South China Sea that violate international law,” Blinken said at a news conference in Japan.

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