Beijing Measures Its Response To US Xinjiang Sanctions

BEIJING’S RESPONSE TO the Trump administration’s sanctions on four Chinese officials held to be responsible for human rights abuses against Uighurs in Xinjiang is about as proportionately reciprocal as it gets.

China says it will bar entry to two Senators, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, one Congressman, Chris Smith, and the US State Department’s religious freedom ambassador, Sam Brownback. The grounds are the quartet’s criticism of Beijing’s treatment of people of faith.

Rubio co-chairs the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, a US government agency that monitors human rights and rule of law issues in China, which is also sanctioned.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying was similarly restrained in responding to a question from the Global Times at her daily briefing today:

It must be stressed that Xinjiang affairs are purely China’s internal affairs. The US has no right and no cause to interfere in them. The Chinese government is absolutely determined in its resolve to safeguard its sovereignty, security and development interests, to combat violent terrorist, separatist and religious extremist forces, and to oppose any external interference in Xinjiang affairs and China’s internal affairs.

Her restraint slipped moments later, however, in response to a different question about a tweet by the US State Department alleging the use of Uighur slave labour in the making of some products:

I also have some Uighur friends who I know are very happy in Xinjiang, breathing freely and enjoying their life, living in a completely different way than African Americans like George Floyd. We sincerely hope that those American politicians will really care about the serious racial issues in their own country and make efforts to protect the human rights of their ethnic minorities.

Hua also left open the door for further sanctions “as the situation develops”. That could be around the TikTok video-sharing app that Trump’s trade advisor, Peter Navarro, has hinted may be banned in the United States, where it is hugely popular, because of its Chinese ownership.

Separately, the US State Department has expanded its travel advisory for China to warn US nationals that they are at heightened risk of arbitrary arrest and of detention and exit bans. An e-mailed version sent on July 11 to US nationals in China said, “Security personnel may detain and/or deport US citizens for sending private electronic messages critical of the PRC government.” Both the new internet law and Hong Kong’s national security law can be applied extra-territorially and to non-Chinese citizens.

None of which suggests much interest in Washington in repairing tattered ties, even if there is any substance to the suggestions that Beijing would like to prevent relations sinking even lower than they have.

Update: China has imposed sanctions on the US defence manufacturer Lockheed Martin in response to Washington’s approval for Taiwan to buy parts to refurbish its Lockheed Martin missiles.

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One response to “Beijing Measures Its Response To US Xinjiang Sanctions

  1. Pingback: US-China Cold War Brinksmanship Tested In Houston | China Bystander

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