Status: 22.03.2021 1:11 p.m.
For the first time in three decades, the EU has adopted punitive measures against China for violating human rights. The oppression of the Uyghurs is denounced. Sanctions were also imposed on the military coup in Myanmar.
For the first time in more than 30 years, the EU has imposed sanctions against China for violations of human rights. The foreign ministers of the 27 member states decided in Brussels to take punitive measures against those responsible for the suppression of the Muslim Uyghur minority in the Xinjiang region, as reported by several news agencies. According to the AFP, four party and regional representatives and one organization will be put on the sanctions list.
EU foreign ministers decide on sanctions against China
Sandra Ratzow, ARD Singapore, daily news 12:00 p.m., March 22, 2021
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.
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 is also imposing 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 put 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.