US authorities unexpectedly announced sanctions against Chinese officials over human rights issues in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong at the height of Washington’s efforts to convince Beijing not to support Moscow in the invasion of Ukraine.
The United States issued an announcement seeking to impose more visa restrictions on Chinese officials following a previous accusation of human rights abuses, according to a declaration of the State Department.
“The United States rejects efforts by PRC officials to harass, intimidate, surveil, and abduct members of minority ethnic and religious groups, including those seeking safety abroad, and U.S. citizens, who speak out on behalf of these vulnerable populations,” said Secretary of State Antoine Blinken without specifying how much and which Chinese officials would be sanctioned.
“We call on the PRC government to end the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, repressive policies in Tibet, repression of fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong, and violations and abuses of human rights. man, including violations of religious freedom, elsewhere in the country. »
The timing of the announcement is a critical issue as Washington’s new sanctions coincide with ongoing efforts to convince Beijing not to support Russian efforts in Ukraine with rumors that it will provide military aid to Moscow.
The announcement also follows a recent phone call last Friday between the US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping the latter calling on both nations to “assume their share of international responsibilities” for world peace.