The United States is determined to promote accountability for the human rights abuses taking place in Xinjiang, China. To that end, and in coordination with the European Union, Britain and Canada, the United States announced sanctions against officials of the People’s Republic of China in connection with serious human rights abuse occurring in Xinjiang.
China’s abuses in Xinjiang include mass detention in internment camps, forced labor, forced sterilization, severe restrictions on freedom of religion or belief, and severe restrictions on Uyghurs’ exercise of their linguistic and cultural identities.
“Amid growing international condemnation, the PRC continues to commit genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang,” wrote Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement. “The United States reiterates its calls on the PRC to bring an end to the repression of Uyghurs, who are predominantly Muslim, and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang, including by releasing all those arbitrarily held in internment camps and detention facilities.”
Under the Global Magnitsky sanctions program, the United States designated two Chinese officials “in connection with the People’s Republic of China’s appalling abuses in Xinjiang,” Secretary Blinken wrote. The officials are Wang Junzheng, Secretary of the Party Committee of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, and Chen Mingguo, Director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau. The designation means that any assets of these individuals that are in or come within the United States are frozen, and Americans cannot engage in transactions with them.
The action by the United States was taken in solidarity with the actions of its partners in the European Union, Britain and Canada, who imposed sanctions on the same two officials and others.
In a joint statement, the foreign ministers of Britain, Canada, and the United States said their coordinated measures, in parallel with measures taken by the European Union, “send a clear message about the human rights violations and abuses in Xinjiang.” They called on China to end its repressive practices and to allow independent investigators from the United Nations as well as journalists and foreign diplomats unhindered access to the region.
“We will continue to stand together to shine a spotlight on China’s human rights violations,” the foreign ministers declared. “We stand united and call for justice for those suffering in Xinjiang.”