On Friday, the Treasury Department US placed sanctions on an entity belonging to the Chinese government and two officials who are related over alleged human rights abuses against Uighurs and other ethnic minority people in China’s Xinjiang province.
The action taken by the department marks an escalation of tensions between Washington and Beijin. This happened a week after the President for United States Donald Trump closed the Chinese consulate in Houston, prompting China to shutter the US consulate in Chengdu.
The move which happened on Friday saw the US Treasury blacklist the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, also known as XPCC, along with Sun Jinlong, former party secretary of the XPCC, and Peng Jiarui, deputy party secretary and commander of the XPCC.
“The entity and officials are being designated for their connection to serious human rights abuse against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, which reportedly include mass arbitrary detention and severe physical abuse, among other serious abuses targeting Uyghurs, a Turkic Muslim population indigenous to Xinjiang, and other ethnic minorities in the region,” said a statement on the Treasury website.
“The XPCC is a paramilitary organization in the XUAR that is subordinate to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP),” the Treasury statement continued. “The XPCC enhances internal control over the region by advancing China’s vision of economic development in XUAR that emphasizes subordination to central planning and resource extraction.”