China announced tit-for-tat sanctions against two Americans, a Canadian and a rights advocacy body late Saturday, in response to sanctions imposed earlier this week by the two countries over Beijing’s treatment of Uyghurs.
Two members of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, Gayle Manchin, and Tony Perkins, as well as Canadian MP Michael Chong and a Canadian parliamentary committee on human rights, are prohibited from entering mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau, the Chinese foreign ministry said.
At least one million Uyghurs and people from other mostly Muslim groups have been held in camps in northwestern Xinjiang, according to rights groups, who accuse authorities of forcibly sterilizing women and imposing forced labour.
The European Union, Britain, Canada, and the United States sanctioned several members of Xinjiang’s political and economic hierarchy this week in coordinated action over the allegations, prompting retaliation from Beijing in the form of sanctions on individuals from the EU and UK.
China’s foreign ministry on Saturday accused the US and Canada of imposing sanctions “based on rumours and disinformation.”
The sanctioned officials, who are also banned from conducting business with Chinese citizens and institutions, “must stop political manipulation on Xinjiang-related issues, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs in any form,” the ministry said.
“Otherwise, they will get their fingers burnt,” the foreign ministry statement warned.