China imposes sanctions on US and Canadian citizens

China has imposed sanctions on US and Canadian citizens in retaliation for a decision this week by the US, EU, UK and Canada to take punitive action against Beijing’s crackdown on Uyghurs in Xinjiang .

China’s Foreign Ministry said it had imposed sanctions on Gayle Manchin, chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, and Tony Perkins, commission vice chair. China has also targeted Michael Chong, a Canadian lawmaker and a Canadian parliamentary committee dealing with human rights.

“Those affected are prohibited from entering the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao. . . and Chinese citizens and institutions do not have the right to do business with the affected people and interact with the affected entity, ”the foreign ministry said.

The US, EU, UK and Canada took on Monday coordinated action sanction four senior Chinese officials – including two who were already on the US sanctions list – for their role in detaining a million Muslim Uyghurs who are being held in labor camps in Xinjiang.

China is under increasing pressure due to the persecution of Uyghurs ahead of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, followed his predecessor, Mike Pompeo, in calling the situation “genocide”. The Canadian and Dutch parliaments also voted to qualify it as “genocide”.

China responded immediately to Western sanctions on Monday by impose retaliatory sanctions on European entities and individuals, including members of the European Parliament. Friday he put sanctions against four UK-based groups and nine UK citizens, including Iain Duncan Smith, the former leader of the Conservative Party.

So far, China has not imposed sanctions on any official in the Biden administration. In the last week of the Trump administration, he targeted Pompeo and nine other American individuals on a list of 28 targets.

The retaliatory measures underline the dramatic worsening of relations between the United States and China. While relations have deteriorated dramatically under the Trump administration, they have continued to spiral down.

US and Chinese officials last week had a extraordinary public spitting when they met in Alaska for their first high-level meeting since Joe Biden became president.

U.S. officials said the private portion of the meeting was more cordial, but the two-day event ended with Blinken’s refusal of an offer to hold follow-up talks in Beijing.

When Yang Jiechi, the top Chinese official, extended the invitation, Blinken said “Thank you.” When Yang pressed if that meant “Yes,” Blinken replied, “Thank you means thank you», Signaling that he wanted to say« no ».

The Financial Times reported this week that the Biden administration is also increasingly concerned that China flirt with the idea of ​​launching a military attack on Taiwan take control of the country, which Beijing regards as a renegade province. A senior American admiral has warned that military action could take place within six years.

The latest Chinese sanctions came after global garment companies, which had relied on the rebound in the Chinese market to support their post-pandemic finances, faced boycotts in China over their pledge not to use cotton from the Xinjiang.

China’s state-run media have fueled the boycott of Western brands, including H&M and Nike, by broadcasting historic statements of concern from groups over the use of forced labor in Xinjiang. British luxury group Burberry also faced a backlash.

Products weren’t available on e-commerce sites, the celebrities stepped down from their roles as brand ambassadors, and searches of Chinese sites for their physical stores yielded no results.

This decision highlighted the delicate balance that brands face. In the three months to February, Nike’s Greater China pre-tax profit rose 75% year-over-year to $ 973 million, slightly more than their total for the North America.

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