U.S. Sanctions Chinese Officials Over Alleged Human Rights Abuses in Muslim Xinjiang Region
By William Mauldin
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. imposed sanctions on senior officials in
China's Xinjiang region, accusing them and the region's police of
being complicit in human-rights violations against the Muslim
population in northwest China.
The Treasury and State Departments designated Chen Quanguo, the
Chinese Communist Party secretary for Xinjiang, under the
sanctions, effectively locking up any international assets and
preventing him or his immediate family members from traveling to
The two agencies also sanctioned Zhu Hailun, the party secretary
of the Xinjiang Political and Legal Committee, and Wang Mingshan,
the party secretary of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau. Huo
Liujun, the former secretary of the police bureau, also was
sanctioned by the Treasury Department alone, while the State
Department said it would impose visa restrictions on additional
unnamed officials linked to unjust detention or mistreatment of
Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs or other minorities in Xinjiang.
"The United States will not stand idly by as the [Chinese
Communist Party] carries out human rights abuses targeting Uyghurs,
ethnic Kazakhs, and members of other minority groups in Xinjiang,"
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.
The sanctions detailed Thursday are likely largely symbolic
because the officials are unlikely to travel to the U.S. and
probably don't hold significant assets in financial institutions
President Trump signed new legislation this year that would
allow for sanctions related to the treatment of the Uighurs, but
the penalties announced Thursday were based on older authority.
Congress also passed legislation a week ago that would require
sanctions on officials linked to Beijing's effort to curb Hong
Kong's autonomy through a new national security law. Mr. Trump
hasn't signed it.
The sanctions, levied under a previous executive order and U.S.
human-rights law, are the latest effort by the administration to
pressure Beijing, which Washington accuses of human-rights abuses,
undermining the autonomy of Hong Kong and unfair trade practices.
Security tensions also have been rising between the two countries,
most recently in the South China Sea.
Four U.S. government agencies warned businesses last week about
the legal and reputational risks of using Chinese supply chains
that could be connected with Xinjiang or of selling to customers
A spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington didn't
immediately respond to a request for comment. Chinese officials
have generally defended their Xinjiang policies as benign efforts
to eradicate extremist and separatist violence and to ensure ethnic
Mr. Chen, the top official directing China's clampdown in the
restive Xinjiang region, has emerged as a pioneer of aggressive,
technology-driven police techniques.
The Treasury Department officially designated Xinjiang's police
department under the sanctions, saying that it is among the first
to use artificial intelligence for racial profiling.
Write to William Mauldin at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 09, 2020 13:09 ET (17:09 GMT)
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