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US, Canada slam China for tit-for-tat sanctions in human rights row

The US and Canada have criticized China for retaliatory sanctions imposed by Beijing in an ongoing row over human rights.

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US China

IANS  |  Washington 

US, CHINA, united states

The US and Canada have criticized China for retaliatory sanctions imposed by Beijing in an ongoing row over human rights.

In a coordinated move, the US, the EM, Britain and Canada on March 22 slapped sanctions on Chinese officials and entities for abuses against the mostly Muslim Uighur people, reports dpa news agency.

In a retaliatory move on Saturday, Beijing sanctioned Chair of the US Commission on Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Gayle Manchin; Vice Chair of the USCIRF Tony Perkins; Canadian MP Michael Chong; and the Subcommittee on Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Development of the House of Commons of Canada, citing Washington and Ottawa's sanctions that it said were "based on rumours and misinformation".

The individuals will not be able to travel to China's mainland, Hong Kong or Macao and Chinese businesses and institutions are barred from doing business with them or holding exchanges with the Canadian committee.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned the move.

"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," Blinken said in a statement.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the sanctions were "unacceptable actions".

"China's sanctions are an attack on transparency and freedom of expression - values at the heart of our democracy," Trudeau tweeted late Saturday night.

China had already retaliated against the UK and the EU with tit-for-tat sanctions last week.

In the last few years, hundreds of Uighurs, Kazakhs and Huis have testified that they were held in internment camps in Xinjiang as part of what observers say is a government campaign to forcibly assimilate the minorities.

There have been reports of torture and sexual abuse.

The Chinese government says the camps - estimated to have held more than 1 million people since 2017 - are "vocational education centres" to eradicate extremism and terrorism.

--IANS

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(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Sun, March 28 2021. 13:54 IST
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