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News > China

China Places Sanctions on 9 UK Lawmakers and 4 EU Institutions

  • Iain Duncan Smith (aka George Smith) has been sanctioned by China, among other conservative UK leaders and EU institutions.

    Iain Duncan Smith (aka George Smith) has been sanctioned by China, among other conservative UK leaders and EU institutions. | Photo: Twitter/@BrexitBuster

Published 26 March 2021

Beijing responded to Western powers' punitive actions over alleged human rights abuses with retaliatory sanctions, targeting British individuals and entities, days after a similar move against E.U. officials.

China on Friday announced sanctions against individuals and entities in the United Kingdom over what the Asian nation called "lies and disinformation" about the Xinjiang region.

Beijing's move comes in retaliation to the UK-imposed sanctions— along with the United States, European Union, and Canada — for supposed "human rights abuses" against the Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.


China to Take Countermeasures Against New US Sanctions

"The Chinese side decides to sanction the following nine individuals and four entities on the UK side that maliciously spread lies and disinformation," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

The sanctions target former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith and other MPs, including Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Tom Tugendhat and Nusrat Ghani, a vocal conservative critic of China.

Smith called the sanctions against him a "badge of honor," while Tugendhat wrote that the UK sanctions people who violate Chinese citizens' rights and China sanctions those who defend them, alleging, "the contrast is clear."

The entities hit by the sanctions are the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, the China Research Group, set up by a group of Conservative lawmakers, the Uyghur Tribunal, an NGO investigating the Chinese government's alleged rights abuses, and the Essex Court Chambers.

The ministry said the nine individuals and their immediate family members would be barred from entering Chinese territory.

"Their property in China will be frozen, and Chinese citizens and institutions will be prohibited from doing business with them," it added.

The sanctions by the U.S., Britain, Canada, and the E.U. proved a rare instance of coordinated action against Beijing. In response, China struck back at the European Union with similar sanctions earlier this week, targeting 10 EU citizens, including politicians, for "gross interference" in its internal affairs and "flagrantly violating international law."

The Asian giant also sanctioned E.U. organizations, including Germany's Mercator Institute for China Studies and a Danish "pro-democracy" organization.

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