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China flexes its muscle, slaps sanctions on EU officials

by Staff reporter
23 Mar 2021 at 06:07hrs | Views
China yesterday said it had decided to impose sanctions on 10 European Union citizens, including politicians, for "gross interference" in its internal affairs, and for "flagrantly violating international law."

In a statement, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced it would endorse sanctions against the individuals and four EU entities for "maliciously spreading lies and false information."

On the list of individuals to be sanctioned are five members of the EU parliament Reinhard Butikofer, Michael Gahler, Raphael Glucksmann, Ilhan Kyuchyuk and Miriam Lexmann 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.  

Beijing said it will also sanction EU entities including Germany's Mercator Institute for China Studies and a Danish democracy organisation.

China's foreign ministry says all relevant personnel and their family members will be prohibited from entering mainland China, as well as the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao, adding that their affiliated companies and institutions have also been restricted from communicating with China.  

The move comes shortly after the EU agreed to sanction China for human rights abuses against the Uyghurs at a foreign ministers meeting earlier yesterday in Brussels.  

Four regional and party representatives, as well as a construction firm from Xinjiang province, were added to the EU sanctions list, with their names published in the EU Official Journal.

The EU has not issued punitive sanctions on China since 1989. Brussels imposed travel bans and asset freezes 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, was also targeted.

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