U.S. imposes sanctions on Chinese company over abuse of Uighurs
03 Aug 2020

The United States intensified its economic pressure on China’s Xinjiang province on Friday, imposing sanctions on a powerful Chinese company and two officials for what it said were human rights abuses against Uighurs and other ethnic minorities.

The move, the latest blow to U.S.-China relations, came a week after U.S. President Donald Trump closed the Chinese consulate in Houston, prompting Beijing to shutter the U.S. consulate in Chengdu.

The U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement it blacklisted the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, also known as XPCC, along with Sun Jinlong, former party secretary of XPCC, and Peng Jiarui, XPCC’s deputy party secretary and commander, over accusations they are connected to serious human rights abuse against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.

“The Chinese Communist Party’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang, China against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities rank as the stain of the century,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

China denies mistreatment of the minority group and says the camps holding many Uighurs provide vocational training and are needed to fight extremism.

Washington’s action freezes any U.S. assets of the company and officials; generally prohibits Americans from dealing with them; and bars Sun Jinlong and Peng Jiarui from traveling to the United States.

By Steve Holland and Daphne Psaledakis, Reuters, 31 July 2020

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