Human rights – EU agrees on sanctions against China for Uyghurs

According to diplomats, the EU has adopted sanctions against China for the first time in three decades. It is about entry bans and the freezing of assets, said two EU diplomats on Wednesday. Four Chinese government representatives and one Chinese institution are affected. The background is human rights violations against the Muslim Uyghur minority in China. Formally, the sanctions would be decided by the EU foreign ministers on Monday.

These are the first EU sanctions against China since an arms embargo was imposed in 1989. At that time, the Chinese government put down a student-led reform movement in Tiananmen Square in Beijing using tanks. According to human rights activists, thousands of people could have been killed at the time.

The German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas had already announced on Monday that he was pushing for sanctions to be imposed on China for dealing with the Muslim Uyghur minority. The EU has the ability to punish human rights violations, “and of course we want to use this instrument,” he said.

Human rights groups also accuse China of suppressing the Uyghurs in the northwestern region of Xinjiang. The Beijing government rejects the allegations. (apa, reuters)

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