Beijing. China on Friday announced sanctions against some British citizens and organizations
China on Friday announced sanctions against some British citizens and organizations accused of being involved in anti-China activities. The move comes as the European Union and the United Kingdom have imposed sanctions on some Chinese officials, especially in the Muslim-majority region of Xinjiang, accusing them of human rights abuses.
A statement issued by the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the allegations made against China by Western nations were false and misleading. The statement said Western countries were trying to interfere in China’s internal affairs and disregard international law and minimum standards. The latest UK decision could have a serious impact on Sino-British relations, the statement said.
The British Foreign Office was also summoned by the Chinese Foreign Ministry to protest diplomatically, the ministry said. The banned British nationals and groups have been barred from visiting Chinese territory and economic transactions with Chinese nationals and organizations have been banned.
A preliminary report prepared by China states that nine British citizens and four organizations have been banned for the time being, including British MP Ian Duncan and the Conservative Party’s Human Rights Commission. China and the West have been making sharp accusations over Xinjiang for some time. Western nations have accused China of treating more than a million Xinjiang Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities as prisoners.
The West has accused China of forcibly enslaving people in the region and controlling birth rates. The European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada have recently announced sanctions against four Chinese officials over the Xinjiang affair.
Xinjiang, a sparsely populated area, produces cotton and other agricultural products. Western nations have repeatedly threatened not to buy the products. Among those banned by China are politicians, intellectuals, and human rights activists Tom Tugendhat, Neil O’Brien, Nusrat Ghani, Helena Kennedy, Geoffrey Niss, and Joanna Nicola Smith Finlay.
Also on the list are China Research Group, Uyghur Tribunal, and Essex Court Chambers. China’s various government agencies and state-controlled media have also been sharply critical of the West’s activities.
The Xinjiang government has issued a lengthy statement claiming that the region has recently experienced economic growth, political stability, and population growth. The statement said human rights abuses had been reported in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and elsewhere. The statement added that “Western intervention in Iraq and Libya has led to regional unrest.”