(Beijing—July 14, 2020) China has sanctioned American lawmakers in retaliation for sanctions against Chinese officials for human rights abuses.
China imposed the sanctions on U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, Representative Chris Smith, and Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback. They also sanctioned the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.
This comes shortly after Rubio, Smith, and Cruz supported legislation in the U.S. Congress that pressed sanctions on China for its treatment of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. Recently, the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 was signed into law by President Trump.
The Treasury Department then pushed sanctions against key officials responsible for the abuses as well as Xinjiang’s public security bureau.
For the past several years, China has been mass imprisoning ethnic minority people living in Xinjiang, often without charge. In these prisons, called “re-education camps,” they have been tortured, starved, and forced to work long hours.
A recent AP investigation also showed China is forcing minority women to undergo pregnancy checks, sterilization, and abortion.
Many experts are now saying these actions amount to genocide, but China has chided the U.S. for interfering in its “internal affairs.”
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