UK sanctions four Chinese officials over Xinjiang 'abuses'

By: AFP      Published: 09:53 PM, 22 Mar, 2021
UK sanctions four Chinese officials over Xinjiang 'abuses'

Britain on Monday slapped sanctions on four Chinese officials over "industrial-scale abuses" against the Uighur minority in the region of Xinjiang, in concert with the United States, European Union and Canada.

As well as the four regional Communist Party officials, Britain sanctioned the Public Security Bureau or local police force of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told parliament the travel bans and asset freezes showed the international community would "not turn a blind eye" to the alleged abuses.

"Our approach has been to call out these egregious, industrial-scale, human rights abuses, with our international partners, and ultimately match words with action," he said.

China was guilty of forced sterilisations of Uighur women, all-enveloping surveillance of the minority Muslim population and "the largest mass detention of an ethnic or religious group since the Second World War", Raab added.

However, the UK government has stopped short of Washington's designation of the Uighurs' plight as "genocide", and is resisting efforts by Conservative rebels to apply that label in a trade bill which was set for a final vote later Monday.