“China was not the first to shoot nor will it be passive or submissive to threats from the outside. Today’s world is not the world of 140 years ago. The Chinese people will not be bullied. We will not stir up trouble but if others do we are not afraid. Our measures are accurate and restrained. There is a saying in China: he who causes the trouble should seek to solve the trouble. We have no intention of seeking to expand the confrontation, but if others do, we shall keep them company.”Yang Xiaoguang.
China has imposed sanctions on 10 UK organisations and individuals, including the former leader of the Conservative party, Iain Duncan Smith, in what they called the spreading of “lies and disinformation” about human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
Earlier, Britain and the EU had taken joint action with the US and Canada to impose parallel sanctions on senior Chinese officials involved in the mass internment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang province marking the first time for three decades UK or EU has punished China for human rights abuses.
The coordinated pressure campaign and sanction has been following years of allegations of China’s abusive treatment of Uighurs. The UK foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, said China’s treatment of the Uighur minority was “the largest mass detention of an ethnic and religious group since the second world war”. Evidence of repression in Xinjiang “as clear as it is sobering”, he said.
Responding to the coordinated pressure from the west, China retaliated, imposing also sanction on UK political figures as well as lawyers and organisations that have spoken against the country’s treatment of its minority, the Uighurs.
In a statement, China wrote, “United Kingdom (UK) imposed unilateral sanctions on relevant Chinese individuals and entity, citing the so-called human rights issues in Xinjiang. This move, based on nothing but lies and disinformation, flagrantly breaches international law and basic norms governing international relations, grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs, and severely undermines China-UK relations.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has summoned the British Ambassador to China to lodge solemn representations, expressing firm opposition and strong condemnation.
The Chinese side decides to sanction the following nine individuals and four entities on the UK side that maliciously spread lies and disinformation: Tom Tugendhat, Iain Duncan Smith, Neil O’Brien, David Alton, Tim Loughton, Nusrat Ghani, Helena Kennedy, Geoffrey Nice, Joanne Nicola Smith Finley, China Research Group, Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, Uyghur Tribunal, Essex Court Chambers.
As of today, the individuals concerned and their immediate family members are prohibited from entering the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao of China, their property in China will be frozen, and Chinese citizens and institutions will be prohibited from doing business with them. China reserves the right to take further measures.
China is firmly determined to safeguard its national sovereignty, security and development interests, and warns the UK side not to go further down the wrong path. Otherwise, China will resolutely make further reactions.