Blinken condemns China sanctions on U.S., Canadian officials

Blinken condemns China sanctions on U.S., Canadian officials
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Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenBiden 'confident' meeting with Putin will take place soon Blinken calls for Taiwan to join World Health Assembly in opposition to China US general warns China is actively seeking to set up an Atlantic naval base MORE issued a statement late Saturday condemning China for sanctioning U.S. and Canadian officials amid simmering tensions over the way China treats Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang province. 

“The United States condemns the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) baseless sanctions on two U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) commissioners apparently in retaliation for U.S. sanctions on PRC officials connected with serious human rights abuse in Xinjiang,” Blinken said.

“Beijing’s attempts to intimidate and silence those speaking out for human rights and fundamental freedoms only contribute to the growing international scrutiny of the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang,” he continued.


China imposed sanctions earlier on Saturday on USCIRF Chair Gayle Manchin, wife of Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Upbeat jobs data, relaxed COVID-19 restrictions offer rosier US picture Manchin on collision course with Warren, Sanders Manchin touts rating as 'most bipartisan senator' MORE (D-W.Va.), and USCIRF vice chair Tony Perkins.

Also sanctioned on Saturdays was Michael Chong, who is the vice chair of the Canadian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development (FAAE), as well as eight members of the committee’s Subcommittee on International Human Rights.

The officials are not allowed in China, Hong Kong or Macau, and Chinese citizens and businesses cannot communicate with them.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauPranksters trick Canadian lawmakers with fake Navalny aide: report Trudeau voices 'tremendous confidence' in AstraZeneca vaccine after first Canadian death linked to shot Biden, Harris, Harry and Meghan added to 'Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World' MORE called the sanctions “an attack on transparency and freedom of expression.”

“We stand with Parliamentarians against these unacceptable actions, and we will continue to defend human rights around the world with our international partners,” he said on Twitter.


The sanctions came after the U.S. and Canada coordinated sanctions with the European Union on Monday against two Chinese government officials over their alleged connection to “serious human rights abuses” against Uyghur Muslims.

The U.S. and other countries have called the alleged treatment a genocide. China had denied accusations of human rights abuses in the country.