Published: Fri, July 10, 2020

China Rejects New US Invite To Join Nuclear Talks Along With Russia

China Rejects New US Invite To Join Nuclear Talks Along With Russia

The Trump administration targeted Xinjiang region's Communist Party Secretary Chen Quanguo, who becomes the highest-ranking Chinese official to be hit with USA sanctions, and the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau.

China's officially atheist Communist government at first denied the existence of the internment camps in Xinjiang, but now says they are vocational training facilities aimed at countering Muslim radicalism and separatist tendencies.

Beijing said on Friday it will impose reciprocal measures in response to U.S. sanctions on Chinese officials over alleged human rights abuses against the Uighur Muslim minority.

The US Treasury Department on Thursday sanctioned the Communist Party secretary of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR), Chen Quanguo, who sits on the Communist Party's powerful Politburo.

In addition to Chen, other officials targeted by the USA are Zhu Hailun, a former deputy party secretary in Xinjiang; Wang Mingshan, the director and Communist Party secretary of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau; and former party secretary of the bureau Huo Liujun.

The move marks the latest in a deteriorating relationship between the USA and the Chinese, coming on top of the spread of the coronavirus - which originated in Wuhan, China - and the Chinese incursion into freedoms in Hong Kong.

According to the Treasury Department, the new sanctions block all named parties from transactions and prohibits "all transactions by US persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons".

The sanctions were imposed under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, a federal law that allows the USA government to target human rights violators around the world with freezes on any U.S. assets, U.S.travel bans and prohibitions on Americans doing business with them.


"The sanctions are unlikely to have any practical impact on the Chinese officials, as they undoubtedly have the bulk of their wealth in domestic assets, yet by targeting China's senior-most officials, the U.S.is sending an extraordinarily strong signal to Beijing", he said.

The Uyghur Human Rights Project praised the targeted sanctions in a statement Thursday. "A global response is long overdue".

Zhao said Washington's proposal for trilateral negotiations was "neither serious nor sincere", calling on it to instead respond to Russia's call for an extension of the treaty and further reduce its own nuclear arsenal. And in June, President Donald Trump signed the "Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020" into law.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had also raised objections to the Treasury sanctions, especially against a Politburo member, out of concerns they could further damage U.S.

Additionally, the Treasury announced it had imposed sanctions on the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau and four current or former officials for their roles in "serious human rights abuses".

United Nations experts and activists estimate more than a million Muslims have been detained in camps in the Xinjiang region.

Chen is widely considered the senior official responsible for the security crackdown in Xinjiang.

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