US Officials Hit With New Sanctions From China

US Officials Hit With New Sanctions From China

( – On December 17, China announced it would strike back after the US placed sanctions on products coming from Xinjiang. A Chinese government spokesperson said it was an attempt to make the Asian nation look bad. The US contends the move was necessary due to human rights violations by businesses in the region. China wasn’t blowing smoke, however, and has now retaliated.

On December 20, China announced sanctions against US government officials on the Commission on International Religious Freedom. Four members cannot enter the country, and if they hold Chinese assets, the government will freeze them.

Those targeted by the retaliatory action include Nadine Maenza, Nury Turkel, James Carr, and Anurima Bhargava. In a tweet, Maenza said she felt honored by the sanctions and did not regret “speaking the truth” about the human rights issues.

When issuing the order, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian warned the US to stop interfering in the country’s “internal affairs” and to remove the sanctions. Zhao also stated China would continue to respond as the situation develops.

The Chinese sanctions are just one more step in the back-and-forth between the two countries. Previously, the US issued restrictions against two officials for abuses of minorities and pulled its delegates from attending the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. The human rights debate continues to fan the flames and add to the growing tension.

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