Brussels, March 17: The European Union (EU) on Wednesday decided to blacklist Chinese officials over Uyghur Human Rights abuses in Xinjiang, reported Reuters. It is the first time since 1989 when an arms embargo was imposed against Beijing after the Tiananmen Square crackdown. EU ambassadors approved the travel ban on four Chinese officials.
According to the Reuters report, the approval was also given to freeze the assets of the Chinese officials. Now, the EU foreign ministry is likely to approve the measures on March 22. Till now, the names of the officials have not been revealed by the EU. According to the report, 11 names are in the bloc's list from Russian, Libya, South Sudan, and North Korea. China's Xinjiang Province Records Sharp Drop in Birth Rate Amid Growing Focus on Uyghur Genocide.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Ambassador to the bloc Zhang Ming lashed out at the EU over the sanctions. He termed the sanctions as "confrontational". the Chinese mission said on Twitter said, "We want dialogue, not confrontation. We ask the EU side to think twice. If some insist on confrontation, we will not back down, as we have no options other than fulfilling our responsibilities to the people."
Tweet by Mission of China:
According to activists, around one million Muslims are being detained in camps in Xinjiang. China, time and again, denies any human rights abuses. Notably, after Canada and the United States, the Dutch parliament also labelled Uighurs treatment by China as genocide. China to Step Up Global Influence Campaign Amid Rising Discontent: Report.
Last week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken had said the US would speak out forcefully against China committing "genocide" against Uyghur Muslims in its Xinjiang province, as several lawmakers voiced concern about the deteriorating human rights situation in the communist nation. Blinken's statement came ahead of the first face-to-face meeting of top American and Chinese officials.