EU Prepares China Sanctions Over Human Rights Abuses
Police officers wearing protective masks and face shield stand in front of barricades in China. (Photographer: Paul Yeung/Bloomberg)

EU Prepares China Sanctions Over Human Rights Abuses


European Union foreign ministers are expected to sign off on a slate of punitive measures on Monday over human rights abuses, including sanctions directed at China.

The restrictions would be a reaction to Beijing’s alleged mistreatment of its minority Uyghur population in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, according to three people familiar with the preparations, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. The sanctions would target four nationals and one entity, one of the people said.

The EU move to sanction the officials is likely to be mostly symbolic. While the U.S. has imposed sanctions on a number of Communist Party officials -- including two Politburo members -- the measures haven’t impacted China’s economy or changed its behavior.

Last week, China’s ambassador to the EU warned the bloc not to interfere in its national security affairs, saying sanctions could fuel a confrontation. Beijing has denied that any personal freedoms have been restricted and has touted the benefits to people living in the region.

The EU’s measures are part of a new human rights violation regime targeting abuses in different countries and regions. The bloc first used this approach against Russia earlier this year over the jailing of opposition leader Alexey Navalny.

During the meeting, the foreign ministers will also discuss the bloc’s relations with Turkey as well as the situation in Myanmar. They may also decide on additional sanctions aimed at Russia, according to a senior EU official.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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