EU wants to introduce sanctions against the Chinese | Free press

For a long time, the EU only responded with calls for the oppression of the Uyghurs in China. This should end now – despite clear warnings from the Chinese EU ambassador.

Brussels (dpa) – The EU wants to sanction human rights violations in China for the first time in more than 30 years.

At a meeting in Brussels today, foreign ministers of the 27 member states are expected to take punitive action against those responsible for the oppression of the Muslim Uyghur minority in China’s Xinjiang region. Sanction decisions for human rights violations in countries such as North Korea, Eritrea and Russia and for the military coup in Myanmar are also planned.

It is very curious how China will respond to the decision. Chinese EU Ambassador Zhang Ming had recently sharply criticized the EU’s plans and asked them to reconsider them. “Sanctions are confrontational,” he said. His country wants dialogue, but will not back down when others push for confrontation.

The EU last imposed sanctions against China for human rights violations following the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing in 1989, including an arms embargo that is still in place. In the bloody repression of the democracy movement on June 4, 1989, hundreds of people were killed when the People’s Liberation Army was deployed against peaceful protesters. The exact number is unknown to this day.

Last year, the Chinese government had already expressed “deep concern” about EU sanctions imposed on a company and two hackers from China for cyber attacks. According to the EU, those affected attacked information systems of multinational companies around the world.

The new sanctions must now be decided because of China’s way of dealing with the Uyghurs. Human rights groups estimate that hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Hui and other members of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang have been sent to re-education camps. Germany has long criticized China’s dealings with the Uyghurs. China, however, rejects the allegations and speaks of training centers.

The EU sanctioning regimes provide that all assets of the natural or legal persons concerned are frozen and that no more money or economic resources may be made available to them. In addition, there are EU entry bans for those affected.

Another topic of the EU meeting is the question of how to deal with Turkey in the right way. The European Union has recently provoked this with controversial gas investigations in the Eastern Mediterranean. EU Foreign Affairs Representative Josep Borrell is expected to present to Foreign Ministers a comprehensive report on the state of political and economic relations between the EU and Turkey, which will also serve as the basis for discussions at the EU Summit – heads of state and government at the end of the week – states will. The document would also contain tools and options that could put further pressure on the Ankara government in the natural gas drilling dispute.

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