US imposes sanctions on three Chinese officials in Xinjiang for human rights abuses

The US placed sanctions and visa limits on three senior officials of the ruling Chinese Communist Party on Thursday over suspected human rights abusses against Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and leaders of other ethnic minority groups in the Xinjiang Province of the Muslim Majority. The three officials are Chen Quanguo, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) CCP Party Secretary; Zhu Hailun, Xinjiang Political and Legal Committee (XPLC) Party Secretary; and Wang Mingshan, the new Xinjiang Public Security Bureau (XPSB) Party Secretary.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a separate statement the U.S. is committed to using the full breadth of its financial powers to hold human rights abusers accountable in Xinjiang and around the world. In announcing the sanctions, Pompeo also imposed new visa restrictions on certain CCP officials alleged to be responsible for, or complicit in, the arbitrary imprisonment or persecution of Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs and members of other Xinjiang minority groups. Such limitations can also extend to their family members, he said.

Until ramping up the CCP ‘s authoritarian campaign in Xinjiang, Chen oversaw widespread violations in Tibetan regions, using many of the same barbaric procedures and policies that CCP officials are now implementing in Xinjiang, Pompeo said. China has been facing intense criticism from Western countries over repeated allegations of systematic imprisonment of Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang in recent years.