BRUSSELS, Belgium: In a rare move, European Union foreign ministers have agreed to sanction Chinese officials for human rights violations.
This will be the first time since 1989, following the Tactics at Tiananmen Square, that the EU has sanctioned China.
The EU will impose a travel ban and freeze assets for four Chinese officials and an agency, all of which will be identified later.
EU sanctions against China stem from the Chinese government’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims in the western region of Xinjiang. UN representatives say about one million Muslims are being held in camps throughout the area.
China has recognized the gathering of Muslims and placed them in “abolition centers” in the fight against extremism.
In response, China’s ambassador to the EU, Zhang Ming, said the camps that hold Muslims in China are “not entirely different” from those in Britain, France and the United States.
In a warning, Zhang Ming said, “sanctions based on lies can be interpreted as a deliberate attack on China’s security and development.”