Trump admin announces sanctions on China over oppression of Uyghur minority

China’s communist regime has received increased condemnation in recent months over reports of human rights abuses in its province of Xinjiang, a place where government forces have been putting members of the Muslim Uyghur ethnic group into concentration camps.

This week, the Trump administration announced that it would support that condemnation with action, laying out the details of the plan in a press release

“Full breadth of its financial powers”

“As previously stated, the United States is committed to using the full breadth of its financial powers to hold human rights abusers accountable in Xinjiang and across the world,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said.

The statement singled out one high-ranking government official for allegedly leading the repressive campaign in Xinjiang.

The Trump administration asserted that Chen Quanguo “has a notorious history of intensifying security operations in the Tibetan Autonomous Region, where he was deployed before arriving in Xinjiang to tighten control over members of Tibetan ethnic minority groups.”

Upon arriving in Xinjiang, he “began implementing a comprehensive surveillance, detention, and indoctrination program targeting Uyghurs and members of other ethnic minority groups,” the statement added.

Among the oppressive human rights violations reported in the region are forced abortions and sterilizations, as reported by the Daily Caller.

“Tangible and significant consequences”

In an article published earlier this month, Adrian Zenz of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is quoted as saying that there has been a “dramatic decline in [the] birthrate and population growth in minority areas in China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang.”

As a result of the Trump administration’s recent action, “all properties and interests in property of the entity and individuals named above, and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by them, individually, or with other blocked persons, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons, are blocked and must be reported to” the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

The statement concluded by saying that the U.S. “seeks to impose tangible and significant consequences on those who commit serious human rights abuse or engage in corruption, as well as to protect the financial system of the United States from abuse by these same persons.”

In announcing the new sanctions, the Treasury Department cited a 2017 executive order “in which the President found that the prevalence of human rights abuse and corruption that have their source, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States, had reached such scope and gravity that it threatens the stability of international political and economic systems.”

While the plight of the Uyghur people might not be on the front of everyone’s mind in the U.S., it is clear that the Trump administration is taking the situation seriously.

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