China sanctions US officials, including two senators, over Uighur Muslims

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China announced sanctions against US officials including two senators on Monday in retaliation against Washington’s sanctions against senior Chinese officials over Beijing’s treatment of minority Uighur Muslims.

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Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying disclosed what she called “corresponding sanctions” against US Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, US Representative Chris Smith, Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

The commission monitors human rights and the development of the rule of law in China and submits an annual report to President Donald Trump and Congress.

“The US actions seriously interfere in China’s internal affairs, seriously violate the basic norms of international relations and seriously damage Sino-US relations,” she told reporters during a daily briefing.

“China will make further responses based on how the situation develops.”

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Hua did not elaborate on what the sanctions entail, but Washington’s measures against Chinese officials, including the Communist Party secretary of the troubled western region of Xinjiang, include freezing of US assets, US travel and prohibiting Americans from doing business with them.

UN experts and activists say at least a million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims are held in detention centers in Xinjiang.

China describes them as training centers helping to stamp out terrorism and extremism and give people new skills.

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