China sanctions British politicians over Uighur criticism


China issues sanctions against British MPs and lawyers including Iain Duncan Smith in retaliation for what Beijing brands their ‘lies’ about Uigher abuses

  • Former Tory Party leader Iain Duncan Smith has been banned from China 
  • Beijing responded to criticism by the MP over human rights abuses in China 
  • Chinese companies have been banned from working with sanctioned people 

China sanctioned organisations and individuals in the United Kingdom on Friday over what it called ‘lies and disinformation’ about Xinjiang, days after Britain imposed sanctions for human rights abuses in the western Chinese region.

The Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement it sanctioned four entities and nine individuals, including former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith and the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, that ‘maliciously spread lies and disinformation.’

Targeted individuals and their immediate family members are prohibited from entering Chinese territory, the ministry said, adding that Chinese citizens and institutions will be prohibited from doing business with them.

Iain Duncan Smith, pictured, has been placed on a sanctions list by China over his support of Uighur Muslim minorities in Xinjiang province

Iain Duncan Smith, pictured, has been placed on a sanctions list by China over his support of Uighur Muslim minorities in Xinjiang province

Many western companies have decided against using Xinjang cotton over allegations of human rights abuses

Many western companies have decided against using Xinjang cotton over allegations of human rights abuses

The move is a retaliation to a coordinated set of sanctions imposed by the United States, European Union, Britain and Canada against Beijing over what the countries call human rights violations against the Uighur Muslim minorities in Xinjiang. 

Beijing already applied retaliatory sanctions against the EU that were in line with Friday’s announcement.

Activists and U.N. rights experts say at least 1 million Muslims have been detained in camps in Xinjiang. The activists and some Western politicians accuse China of using torture, forced labour and sterilisations. 

China has repeatedly denied all accusations of abuse and says its camps offer vocational training and are needed to fight extremism. ‘China is firmly determined to safeguard its national sovereignty, security and development interests, and warns the UK side not to go further down the wrong path,’ the Chinese ministry said. ‘Otherwise, China will resolutely make further reactions. 

Activists and U.N. rights experts say at least 1 million Muslims have been detained in camps in Xinjiang

Activists and U.N. rights experts say at least 1 million Muslims have been detained in camps in Xinjiang

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