EU foreign ministers on Monday agreed on the inclusion of four Chinese citizens and one organization on the sanctions list on charges of violating human rights in connection with the persecution of the “Uyghur Muslim minority in Xinjiang.”
The Chinese Foreign Ministry responded by imposing sanctions against ten Europeans, including MEPs and four organizations. Later, the US, Canada and the UK also announced sanctions against Beijing. Chinese ambassadors were summoned to the Foreign Ministries of many other European states, particularly France, Germany, and Italy.
“The Chinese side has decided to impose sanctions on nine individuals and four organizations (from the UK) who spread lies and misinformation about Xinjiang,” reads a statement on the Chinese Foreign Ministry website.
The sanctions list included British MP Tom Tugendhat, former leader of the Conservative Party Ian Duncan Smith, UK MP Neil O’Brien, MP David Elton, UK MP Tim Lawton, UK MP Nous Ghani, MP Helena Kennedy, attorney Jeffrey Nice, China scholar, Uyghur writer Joan Smith Finlay, China Research Group, the Conservative Party’s Human Rights Commission, the Uyghur Tribunal that investigates crimes against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China, and a bar association Essex Court Chambers.
All persons on the sanctions list and their family members are prohibited from entering mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. Their property in China will be frozen, and Chinese citizens and organizations will not be allowed to do business with it.
“The UK imposed unilateral sanctions against individuals and organizations from China, citing so-called human rights violations in Xinjiang. This step was based on nothing but lies and misinformation, a violation of basic international law, gross interference in internal affairs. China and seriously undermines the Chinese-British relations, “ the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.
The ministry noted that China is determined to defend its sovereignty, security and development interests.
“China reserves the right to take further action. We urge the UK not to go further down this wrong path. Otherwise, China will take further drastic restrictive measures,” the statement said.