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China vows response to latest US sanctions

Beijing urged Washington to drop the penalties and stop acting like a “world policeman”

China has condemned a new round of American sanctions targeting officials for alleged rights abuses in the Tibet region, saying the “illegal” penalties are merely an excuse to meddle in Beijing’s internal affairs.

Asked about the latest round of sanctions imposed last Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the move “grossly interferes” in his country’s affairs and “gravely undermines” relations with the United States, adding that China would take “effective and resolute measures” in response.

“The US imposed illegal sanctions on Chinese officials under domestic law and the pretext of so-called human rights issues in Tibet,” he told reporters on Monday. “Affairs related to Tibet are purely China’s internal affairs and brook no interference from any other country.”

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The US has no right to impose unwarranted sanctions against other countries and is in no position to act as a ‘world policeman.’ We urge the US to withdraw its so-called sanctions immediately.

The US Treasury announced a wave of new sanctions against 40 people in nine countries last week to mark ‘International Human Rights Day,’ including current and former officials in North Korea, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guinea, Iran, Mali, China, Russia and the Philippines. Two Chinese nationals, Wu Yingjie and Zhang Hongbo, were targeted for alleged “human rights abuses” in the Tibetan Autonomous Region, where the Treasury claimed the government has carried out arbitrary detentions and other violations as part of an effort to “restrict religious freedoms.” 

Coinciding with the sanctions, US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns also issued a statement slamming Beijing for its “repressive” policies in the Xinjiang and Tibet regions, as well as Hong Kong, even suggesting the government had committed “crimes against humanity” against Muslim minorities. However, Wang rejected the criticism as “unwarranted,” instead asking Washington to reflect on its own past abuses and “fix its poor track record first.”

Burns’ statement “fully reveals the hegemonic, high-handed and bullying nature of the US and its political agenda of using human rights issues as a pretext to interfere in China’s internal affairs and undermine China’s stability, development and ethnic solidarity,” the spokesman continued, going on to say that the US has “turned a blind eye to its own human rights violations” both at home and abroad.

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