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EU Agrees First Sanctions on China in More than 30 Years


The new raft of measures is aimed at four Chinese officials and one entity believed to be involved in the alleged human rights violations of the Uyghur Muslin minority, Euronews reports.

The international community has for months suspected that serious abuses, such as mass arbitrary detention, torture and forced political indoctrination, are taking place in concentration camps located in the Xingjian autonomous region.

China has repeatedly denied all allegations. Last week the country warned the EU that any human rights sanctions on Beijing would be "confrontational".

The move represents the first punitive measure against Beijing since the arms embargo that the then-twelve member states imposed in 1989 on Communist China as a result of the violent crackdown in Tiananmen Square. While other measures taken back then were later revised and suspended, the embargo remains in place today.

In total, EU foreign affairs ministers agreed to sanction 11 people and four entities allegedly responsible for serious human rights violations in China, North Korea, Libya, Russia, South Sudan and Eritrea.

Meeting in Brussels, they also agreed to sanction 11 Myanmar officials over the military coup and ensuing repression inside the country.

The measures became official on Monday afternoon after being published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

The sanctions are personal, targeted and consist of a visa ban and an asset freeze in the EU.

The new mechanism, the so-called EU Magnitsky Act, was adopted in December and has already been used to sanction four senior Russian officials involved in legal proceedings against Russian opponent Alexei Navalny.

Measures against the countries topped the agenda in Brussels, along with Europe's southern neighbourhood and relations with Turkey.


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