Status: 03/22/2021 3:47 p.m.
China has imposed sanctions on several EU politicians, including the Green politician Bütikofer. The EU had previously issued sanctions for China’s actions against the Uyghurs.
China has imposed penalties on ten Europeans and four institutions in the EU in response to EU sanctions. Two German members of the EU parliament are affected by the Chinese sanctions: Green politician Reinhard Bütikofer and Michael Gahler from the CDU. Sanctions were also issued against the Mercator Institute for China Studies in Berlin. The Chinese Foreign Ministry announced.
China also imposed sanctions on Bütikofer.
Image: imago images / Rüdiger Wölk
The ten politicians and scientists and four organizations from the EU would “seriously damage China’s sovereignty and interests and maliciously spread lies and misinformation.” The named people and their relatives are prohibited from entering China and the Hong Kong and Macau special administrative areas. In addition, related companies and organizations are not allowed to do business with China.
The European Union should refrain from “teaching others about human rights” and interfering in China’s “internal affairs,” the ministry said.
“At the same time cheeky and ridiculous”
A spokeswoman for the Federal Foreign Office said the federal government had taken note of China’s reaction. Bütikofer told the AFP news agency: “China’s escalating reaction to the human rights sanctions imposed by the EU is both cheeky and ridiculous.”
China manages to turn the four most important groups in the European Parliament against itself with one action. “Beijing cannot seriously believe it is doing itself a favor,” he said.
Previously sanctions by the EU
The EU had previously imposed sanctions on China for the first time in three decades for its actions against the Muslim Uyghur minority. The foreign ministers of the 27 member states decided in Brussels to take punitive measures against those responsible for the oppression of the Muslim Uyghur minority in the Xinjiang region. According to the AFP news agency, four party and regional representatives and one organization were put on the sanctions list.
The sanctions provide that all assets of the natural or legal persons concerned are frozen. In addition, no more money or economic resources may be made available to them. They are now also banned from entering the EU. The names of those affected are to be published in the EU Official Journal shortly.
The Chinese EU ambassador Zhang Ming recently sharply criticized such EU plans. “Sanctions are confrontational,” he said. His country wants dialogue, but will not back down if others insist on confrontation.
EU foreign ministers decide on sanctions against China
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China rejects allegations
Human rights groups estimate that hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Hui and members of other minorities have been sent to re-education camps in Xinjiang. Germany has long criticized China’s dealings with the Uyghurs. China, however, rejects the allegations and speaks of training centers.
The EU last imposed punitive measures against China for human rights violations after the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing in 1989. They include, among other things, an arms embargo that still applies today.
Sanctions also because of the military coup in Myanmar
The EU also imposed sanctions in connection with the military coup in Myanmar. These affect eleven people who are held responsible for the coup and the violence against demonstrators. Myanmar’s army chief is also on the sanctions list.
In the Southeast Asian state, the former Burma, the military had put into a coup against Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi at the beginning of February. In protests against the military junta, numerous people were killed again last weekend. Around seven weeks after the coup, the number of deaths rose to at least 247, the prisoners’ aid organization AAPP announced on Twitter. The real number is likely to be much higher.
“The excess of violence we see there is absolutely unacceptable,” said Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in Brussels. The number of murders had “reached an unbearable level”. The sanctions will now be used to target those responsible.
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