China has imposed sanctions on a number of UK institutions and MPs, including former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, in response to similar moves by the UK regarding the treatment of people in Xinjiang.
Earlier this week, the UK, US, Canada and the European Union imposed sanctions on Chinese officials responsible for human rights abuses in the autonomous northwest of the country.
Foreign Minister Dominic Raab announced a package of travel bans and asset freezes against four senior officials and the state public safety bureau of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC PSB).
The Foreign Minister said the abuse of Uyghur Muslims was “one of the worst human rights crises of our time” and the international community “cannot just look the other way.”
However, the Chinese Foreign Ministry stated in a statement that the allegation is “based on nothing but lies and disinformation, blatantly violates international law and basic norms of international relations, grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs, and seriously affects China-UK relations.” undermines “.
The ministry said it had sanctioned nine people and four British institutions for “maliciously spreading lies and disinformation”.
Duncan Smith, Lord David Alton, Conservative MPs Neil O’Brien, Tim Loughton and Nusrat Ghani, Labor Baroness Helena Kennedy, Attorney Geoffrey Nice, Joanne Nicola Smith Finley and Foreign Affairs Committee chair Tom Tugendhat were sanctioned.
The groups were the China Research Group, the Conservative Party’s Human Rights Commission, the Uyghur Tribunal, and the Essex Court Chambers.
“As of today, those affected and their immediate family members will be banned from entering mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. Their property in China will be frozen and Chinese citizens and institutions will be prohibited from doing business with them.” The ministry added that it reserves the right to take further action.
The ministry also said it had urged Britain’s ambassador to China, Caroline Wilson, to “make solemn statements expressing firm opposition and strong condemnation”.
Announcing his sanctions on Monday, Mr. Raab stated that state control of the Commons in Xinjiang was systematic.
“Over a million people have been detained without trial. There are widespread allegations of torture and rape in the camps based on first-hand statements from survivors,” he said.
The EU had previously announced its own sanctions, after which Beijing denounced it as “based on nothing but lies and disinformation” and directed its own actions against 10 people – including five MEPs – and four institutions.
The British government had seen a possible Tory riot with backbenchers willing to support a trade law amendment to prevent ministers from signing deals with countries involved in genocide.