Beijing Takes 'Reciprocal Countermeasures' in Response to US Anti-China Sanctions Over Uyghur Issue

© AP Photo / David J. PhillipThe flag of China flies outside the Chinese Consulate Wednesday, July 22, 2020, in Houston.
The flag of China flies outside the Chinese Consulate Wednesday, July 22, 2020, in Houston.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.12.2021
Earlier this month, the US slapped a new package of sanctions on China, alleging that Beijing has been using the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang Province as forced labour, claims the Chinese government rejects.
China has banned entry to four people from a US panel on religious freedom, in a tit-for-tat move against sanctions that Washington recently imposed on Chinese entities over Beijing's alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a news briefing on Tuesday that the four members of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) would be barred from entering mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau.
The dome of the U.S. Capitol is seen behind the Capitol Christmas tree on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 1, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.12.2021
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The spokesman dubbed Beijing's move "reciprocal countermeasures" that he said were taken in accordance with China's Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law.
Zhao pointed out that Beijing had decided to take the "countermeasures" after the US imposed "illegal sanctions" on Chinese officials under the pretext of so-called "Human Rights in Xinjiang" issue in accordance with US "internal law".
According to him, the US sanctions "seriously interfered" in China's internal affairs, harshly violated the basic norms of international relations, and seriously damaged Sino-American relations.
"China firmly opposes this and strongly condemns it", the spokesman underlined.
He spoke after the US Departments of Commerce and Treasury announced sanctions last week targeting Chinese biotechnology and surveillance firms it asserts are involved in the mass repression of the Uyghur minority in western Xinjiang Province in China.
US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in a statement that China "is choosing to use these technologies to pursue control over its people and its repression of members of ethnic and religious minority groups".
A worker carries a sack containing raw cotton in the city of Korla  in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2006 - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.12.2020
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Under the Trump administration, the White House imposed a host of economic and visa sanctions on Chinese officials purportedly implicated in the alleged repressions of Uyghurs, blacklisting certain Chinese entities.
The US and other Western nations have repeatedly alleged that China is holding up to one million ethnic Uyghurs in "concentration camps" in the Xinjiang region under the pretext of fighting terrorism and religious extremism. Beijing dismisses all the accusations of maltreatment of its Muslim minority as unsubstantiated.
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