The European Union and China are exchanging sanctions because of the Uyghurs

China on Monday announced sanctions against 10 Europeans, including parliamentarians and four organizations, in response to the European Union’s approval of sanctions against Beijing, which is accused of suppressing the Uighur minority.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the European Union’s move “was based only on lies, misinformation, cynicism and distorted facts,” adding that it was “an obvious interference” in the country’s internal affairs.

Today the European Union sanctioned a company and four Chinese officials allegedly involved in ill-treatment against Uighur Muslims in a series of actions against suspected human rights abusers around the world.

The four are prominent officials in Xinjiang, northwest China, and their names will be revealed later.

The sanctions include freezing their property in the European Union and banning them from traveling. European citizens and businesses are not allowed to give them financial support.

It is reported to be the first European sanctions against Beijing since an arms embargo in 1989 following the suppression of Tiananmen Square protests.

China initially denied the existence of Uyghur detention centers in Xinjiang, but has since referred to them as “vocational training and re-education centers” for those exposed to extremist thinking. Officials there deny all allegations of human rights violations.

And last month, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet for Xinjiang said that “in light of the reports of arbitrary detention, abuse, sexual violence and forced labor, a full and independent assessment of the situation in the region is needed.”

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