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Business News/ News / World/  European Union hits China with sanctions on rights abuse, China retaliates
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European Union hits China with sanctions on rights abuse, China retaliates

'The violations targeted today include the large-scale arbitrary detentions of, in particular, Uyghurs in Xinjiang in China,' according to an EU statement

A file photo of a protest against China by members of the Uyghur community living in Turkey in Feb 2021 (Photo: AP)Premium
A file photo of a protest against China by members of the Uyghur community living in Turkey in Feb 2021 (Photo: AP)

The European Union imposed sanctions against China over alleged human rights abuses, drawing an immediate reaction from Beijing, which set out its own punitive measures aimed at the bloc.

The EU sanctions will target four Chinese nationals and one entity, according to the regulations posted in the EU’s official journal on Monday.

“The violations targeted today include the large-scale arbitrary detentions of, in particular, Uyghurs in Xinjiang in China," according to an EU statement. “The sanctions signal the EU’s strong determination to stand up for human rights and to take tangible action against those responsible for violations and abuses."

The EU move to sanction the officials is likely to be mostly symbolic. While the US has imposed sanctions on a number of Communist Party officials -- including two Politburo members -- the measures haven’t impacted China’s economy or changed its behaviour.

China’s Reaction

Following the European move, China said it would sanction 10 individuals and four entities on the EU side, saying the measures “harm China’s sovereignty and interest" and weren’t based on facts.

“This move, based on nothing but lies and disinformation, disregards and distorts facts, grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs, flagrantly breaches international law and basic norms governing international relations, and severely undermines China-EU relations," according to a statement from China’s foreign ministry.

The EU action is part of a new human rights violation regime targeting abuses in different countries and regions. The new sanctions will affect 11 individuals and four entities around the world. The bloc first used this approach against Russia earlier this year over the jailing of opposition leader Alexey Navalny.

“The Chinese side urges the EU side to reflect on itself, face squarely the severity of its mistake and redress it," according to the statement.

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Published: 22 Mar 2021, 08:51 PM IST
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