China has imposed sanctions on UK politicians, lawyers and academics for criticizing its mass internal campaign in Salvo Xinjiang, the latest in a growing diplomatic standoff between Beijing and the West.
Beijing has reacted angrily Integrated Restrictions The United Kingdom, the European Union, the United States and Canada have targeted Communist Party officials in the northwest this week, including more than 1 million Uighurs and other Muslims since 2013.
On Friday, China announced action against nine British nationals as well as four UK-based groups, freezing China-based assets and banning them and their family members from entering China with Macau and Hong Kong, or doing business with Chinese individuals or entities.
Among those targeted were Conservative MP Ian Duncan Smith, Tom Tuzenhat, Nuss Ghani, Neil and Brian, and Tim Lawton, all of whom expressed concern about Xinjiang’s alleged rights violations. China denies all allegations of abuse in the region.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has accused individuals and groups of “gross interference in China and severely undermining Sino-British relations.”
The move comes after China imposed sanctions on members of the European Parliament this week.
On Friday, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic RAB sharply criticized the decision. “It speaks volumes that when the UK joins the international community in approving those responsible for human rights violations, the Chinese government bans its critics,” he said.
The RAB added: “If Beijing wants to credibly reject the claim of human rights violations in Xinjiang, it should allow the UN High Commissioner to verify the full veracity of human rights.”
The diplomatic position has exacerbated the already strained relations between China and Western powers.
Former Conservative leader Duncan Smith Wrote on Twitter It is his “duty” to highlight the human rights abuses committed by the Chinese government.
“Those of us who live freely under the rule of law must speak out who do not have a voice. If it eases China’s anger at me, I will wear this badge of honor, “he said.
The Chinese ministry warned the UK, “Don’t go any further astray. Otherwise, China will take further steps with determination. “
China also imposed sanctions on a permanent judge’s chamber in Hong Kong. According to the chamber’s website, Lord Lawrence Collins joined the Essex Court Chamber in 2012 as an arbitrator.
Collins is a foreign judge who occasionally travels to Chinese territory to sit in its final appeals court. The presence of judges is seen as a lively one Stamp of approval Speaking of the legal system in Hong Kong.
In February, four barristers in the Essex Court Chamber received a release Legal opinion It was concluded that there was a “credible case” in which the Chinese government acted against the Uyghur people. . . Xinjiang. . . The amount of crimes against humanity and crimes of genocide.
The Financial Times asked the Hong Kong government whether the sanctions and related travel bans would affect Collins’ liability. The government did not respond. The Essex Court Chambers also did not respond to a request for comment.
Joe Smith Finlay, an expert on China and Xinjiang at Newcastle University who was also targeted by Beijing, wrote on Twitter: “Okay, so be it. I have no regrets about talking and I will not keep quiet.”
Beijing has become more interested in responding to sanctions imposed on its government or its officials by other governments in recent years. Suppression in Hong Kong And Xinjiang or national security concerns.
China, in particular, has adopted umbrellas at the initiative of Western capitals to press for accountability for the Beijing operation. Blanket surveillance, mass imprisonment and forcible combination In Xinjiang, some politicians say “Genocide”
Beijing’s countermeasures have also gone beyond most symbolic sanctions to target multinational corporations. As of Wednesday, there are Western clothing brands including H&M and Nike Facing exclusion From nationalist Chinese consumers after ist made a historic statement expressing concern about reports of forced labor circulating online in Xinjiang.
The companies in the UK are Under the pressure of proof This month the British Parliamentary Committee decided that many in Xinjiang were displaying “intentional blindness” on the issue of forced labor because they were complying with modern slavery laws.