World: China sanctions UK lawmakers and entities in retaliation for Xinjiang measures

Chinese officials suggest the US should handle its own human rights problems and not meddle in China's affairs

  Chinese officials suggest the US should handle its own human rights problems and not meddle in China's affairs Chinese diplomats said the US should focus on issues like Black Lives Matter, not meddling in internal affairs regarding Hong Kong and Xinjiang.China has told the US to focus on its own human rights issues - like the Black Lives Matter movement - and not meddle in the country's internal affairs particularly concerning Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Xinjiang.

China has issued more retaliatory sanctions over Xinjiang, targeting individuals and entities in the United Kingdom it says "maliciously spread lies and disinformation" regarding Beijing's treatment of Uyghur Muslims.

a close up of a flag: BARKING, ENGLAND - JANUARY 18: A woman holds a Union flag and a Chinese Flag as a train engine pulls carriages that started their Journey in Yiwu in China into Barking rail freight terminal on January 18, 2017 in Barking, England. After travelling for 16 days and covering around 7,456 miles passing through China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France, The East Wind freight train which is made up of 34 wagons is hoped will herald a 'new era of UK-China relations'. The Engine that started the journey was changed to accomodate different gauge tracks in the UK. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) © Dan Kitwood/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images BARKING, ENGLAND - JANUARY 18: A woman holds a Union flag and a Chinese Flag as a train engine pulls carriages that started their Journey in Yiwu in China into Barking rail freight terminal on January 18, 2017 in Barking, England. After travelling for 16 days and covering around 7,456 miles passing through China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France, The East Wind freight train which is made up of 34 wagons is hoped will herald a 'new era of UK-China relations'. The Engine that started the journey was changed to accomodate different gauge tracks in the UK. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

In a statement Friday, China's foreign ministry said the UK had "imposed unilateral sanctions on relevant Chinese individuals and entity, citing the so-called human rights issues in Xinjiang."

What you need to know about China's Xinjiang region and the Uyghur allegations

  What you need to know about China's Xinjiang region and the Uyghur allegations The United States and its allies are stepping up pressure on China in a unified show of force against Beijing's alleged repression of Uyghurs, a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority, in the country's western region of Xinjiang.The US State Department estimates up to 2 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities have passed through a sprawling network of detention centers across the region, where former detainees allege they were subjected to intense political indoctrination, forced labor, torture, and even sexual abuse.

"This move, based on nothing but lies and disinformation, flagrantly breaches international law and basic norms governing international relations, grossly interferes in China's internal affairs, and severely undermines China-UK relations."

Those sanctioned include five members of parliament -- Tom Tugendhat, Iain Duncan Smith, Neil O'Brien, Tim Loughton and Nusrat Ghani -- and two members of the House of Lords, David Alton and Helena Kennedy, as well as academic Joanne Smith Finley and barrister Geoffrey Nice.

Four entities were also named by Beijing: the China Research Group, Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, Uyghur Tribunal, and Essex Court Chambers, a leading law firm.

"China is firmly determined to safeguard its national sovereignty, security and development interests, and warns the UK side not go further down the wrong path," the Chinese foreign ministry statement said. "Otherwise, China will resolutely make further reactions."

Justin Trudeau Calls China's Sanctions an 'Attack' on 'Values at the Heart of Our Democracy'

  Justin Trudeau Calls China's Sanctions an 'Attack' on 'Values at the Heart of Our Democracy' "We stand with Parliamentarians against these unacceptable actions," Canada's prime minister said Saturday after China sanctioned officials alleging human rights violations in Xinjiang. China countered with its own sanctions against 10 European lawmakers, two EU parliamentary organizations and two think tanks.Chinese state-controlled media hailed Beijing's swift counter attack against the EU.China has also launched a coordinated effort to boycott companies such as H&M and Nike following the retailers' statements about forced labor in Xinjiang's cotton industry.

The individuals concerned and their immediate family members are prohibited from entering mainland China, and Hong Kong and Macao. Their property in China will be frozen, and Chinese citizens and institutions will be prohibited from doing business with them, according to the foreign ministry statement.

The UK's ambassador to China has also been summoned by Beijing, to lodge what it described as "solemn representations, expressing firm opposition and strong condemnation."

On Twitter, UK academic Smith Finley said she had been sanctioned "for speaking the truth" about Xinjiang "and for having a conscience."

"I have no regrets for speaking out, and I will not be silenced," she added.

The measures come after the UK, in coordination with the European Union, Canada and the United States, announced new sanctions Monday over Xinjiang, targeting those responsible for the crackdown there.

Hugo Boss Under Fire From Chinese Stars Over Xinjiang Pledge

  Hugo Boss Under Fire From Chinese Stars Over Xinjiang Pledge (Bloomberg) -- Hugo Boss AG came under fire from Chinese celebrities over its stance on human rights in China, ensnaring the company in a growing boycott of western firms who won’t use the cotton produced in the region of Xinjiang over concerns it’s made with forced labor by Muslim-minority Uyghurs. Li Yifeng, an actor and singer who has more than 60 million followers on his personal Weibo account, has ended all cooperation with Hugo Boss, according to a post on his agent’s Weibo account. Zhu Zhengting and Wang Linkai, both popular singers. will also stop working with the German firm, their agents said on Weibo. Reuters reported earlier on their decisions.

"These actions demonstrate our ongoing commitment to working multilaterally to advance respect for human rights and shining a light on those in the (Chinese) government and (Communist Party) responsible for these atrocities," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said following the move.

China responded almost immediately with tit-for-tat penalties, announcing sanctions against 10 EU politicians and four entities -- an aggressive move that has thrown Beijing's relationship with Brussels into doubt.

Speaking Monday, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said "for a long period, the US and the West wantonly interfered in other countries' domestic affairs by using democracy and human rights as an excuse."

In a statement however, David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament, said China's sanctioning of members of the European Parliament was "unacceptable and will have consequences."

Doing business in China is difficult. A clash over human rights is making it harder .
Companies that want to do business in China have long made compromises in the pursuit of success. Now an escalating diplomatic dispute over human rights is underscoring the stark choice facing Western executives: put profit or principles first. © Kevin Frayer/Getty Images BEIJING, CHINA - MARCH 25: People walk by the flagship store of clothing brand H&M at a shopping area on March 25, 2021 in Beijing, China. Many on Chinese social networking platforms called for boycotts of major Western brands, including H&M, after statements made by the companies in the past about Xinjiang cotton resurfaced online.

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