China has imposed sanctions on British politicians and organisations as a tit-for-tat retaliation over the UK authorities’s sanctions towards Chinese officers for alleged human rights violations towards its Uyghur minorities in Xinjiang province.
Members of Parliament (MPs) together with former Conservative Party chief Iain Duncan Smith and Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Tom Tugendhat, Pakistani-origin Nusrat Ghani, Tim Loughton and House of Lords friends Baroness Kennedy and Lord Alton all members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China are named on the Chinese international ministry’s ban.
Four organisations — together with the China Research Group of MPs and Essex Court Chambers, which printed a authorized opinion describing China”s actions in Xinjiang as genocide — are additionally listed within the sanctions.
The different teams on the record are Conservative Party Human Rights Commission and the Uighur Tribunal.
The transfer comes days after Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab had introduced sanctions towards Chinese officers and organisation underneath the UK”s Global Human Rights sanctions regime for systemic violations towards Uyghur Muslims and different minorities.
“It speaks volumes that, whereas the UK joins the worldwide neighborhood in sanctioning these answerable for human rights abuses, the Chinese authorities sanctions its critics,” mentioned Raab in a press release on Friday.
“If Beijing want to credibly rebut claims of human rights abuses in Xinjiang, it should allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights full access to verify the truth,” he said.
The MPs, peers, lawyer Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, chair of the Uighur Tribunal which is investigating atrocities against the minority group, and academic Jo Smith Finley, whose research focuses on the Uyghurs are among those banned from entering China, Hong Kong and Macau, their property in China will be frozen and Chinese citizens and institutions will be prohibited from doing business with them.
Sir Iain Duncan Smith described his sanction as “a badge of honour”.
In a Twitter statement, he said: “It’s our duty to call out the Chinese Govt’s human rights abuse in Hong Kong & the genocide of the Uyghutrs.
“Those of us who live free lives under the rule of law must speak for those who have no voice.”
An Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China spokesperson said: “The decision to sanction five of our British members is a flagrant assault on those Parliamentarians” rights to conduct their duties.
“We will be making urgent representations to ministers and the House authorities to see that they’re protected from danger or harm as a result of the communist party’s bullying.”
A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said the UK”s decision to impose sanctions “flagrantly breaches international law and basic norms governing international relations, grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs, and severely undermines China-UK relations”.
He said the Chinese Foreign Ministry had summoned the British Ambassador to China to “lodge solemn representations, expressing firm opposition and strong condemnation”.
The retaliation comes after the UK on Monday joined the European Union (EU), Canada and the US to impose its first sanctions against Chinese government officials linked to human rights violations.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said the measures are part of intensive diplomacy by the UK, US, Canada and European Union to deliver “complementary action” on Xinjiang.
It follows the pattern of a rising variety of nations holding China to account for its human rights report, with 39 nations signing a joint assertion on the United Nations.
The UK sanctions goal 4 senior officers and the Public Security Bureau of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps a state-run organisation answerable for safety and policing in areas administered by the XPCC.