Canada sanctions four Chinese officials over Xinjiang rights violations

31 2019 shows a watchtower on a high-security facility near what is believed to be a re-education camp where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained on the outskirts of Hotan in China's northwestern Xinjiang region

"We will continue to work closely with our worldwide partners to pursue accountability and transparency".

At the U.N. Human Rights Council in February, the United Kingdom foreign secretary said rights violations in Xinjiang are "beyond the pale" and "taking place on an industrial scale".

Shortly before the Alaska meeting, the United States announced a series of sanctions on 24 officials it linked to China's crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked Monday if the meeting's tone had prompted the sanctions decision. We are united in calling for China to end its repressive practices against Uyghur Muslims and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang, and to release those arbitrarily detained.

Concerns about China will be on the agenda at a meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation foreign ministers Tuesday and Wednesday, Philip Reeker, the State Department's acting assistant secretary for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, told reporters ahead of Blinken's visit. Officials deny all charges of human rights abuses there, despite well-documented investigations by researchers and news organizations.

Mr. Blinken, who is visiting Brussels this week, also praised the E.U's decision to impose sanctions: the first time, as per reports, the European Union has imposed sanctions on China since the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.

Beijing said it will also sanction European Union entities including Germany's Mercator Institute for China Studies and a Danish democracy organization. They also ban them from travelling to Canada and Canadian citizens and businesses from providing them with financial services.

Zhu Hailun, the former deputy head of the 13th People's Congress of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Wang Junzheng, another Xinjiang politician, and director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau Wang Mingshan were also listed.

Reports have emerged of human rights abuses including torture, sexual abuse, forced sterilisation and indoctrination as members of the Uighur, mostly Muslim, minority group from Xinjiang have been sent to internment camps for "re-education".

It said it would sanction 10 people and four entities in Europe "that severely harm China's sovereignty and interests and maliciously spread lies and disinformation" in response. Adrian Zenz, a leading expert on China's policies in Xinjiang, and Swedish scholar Bjorn Jerden were also targeted.

China has said companies and individuals have petitioned to sue Zenz, but it wasn't clear who the plaintiffs were or how they would pursue legal action across borders.

Others targeted for sanctions include five members of the European Parliament: Reinhard Butikofer, Michael Gahler, Raphael Glucksmann, Ilhan Kyuchyuk and Miriam Lexmann.

The ministry did not say what measures would be taken against the organizations.

A spokesman for China's foreign ministry said the EU's move was based on "nothing but lies and disinformation" and interferes with China's internal affairs.

'Rather than change its policies and address our legitimate concerns, China has again turned a blind eye, and these measures are regrettable and unacceptable, ' Borrell said.

"These measure reflect our grave concern with the gross and systematic rights abuses taking place in the region", Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at an unrelated event in Quebec.

The officials, Wang Junzheng, the Secretary of the Party Committee of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), and Chen Mingguo, Director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau (XPSB), were sanctioned for "serious human rights abuses against ethnic minorities" in China's Xinjiang province, the Treasury Department announced on Monday.

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