China vows ‘reciprocal action’ against critics of Xinjiang policies after US sanctions move

China vows ‘reciprocal action’ against critics of Xinjiang policies after US sanctions move

  • Beijing says it will target ‘institutions and individuals who have acted egregiously on Xinjiang affairs’
  • It was responding to Washington’s sanctions on Chinese officials it deems responsible for human rights abuses in the region

China has vowed to retaliate with “reciprocal” measures against institutions and individuals critical of its policies in Xinjiang, after Washington announced sanctions on Chinese officials it deems responsible for human rights abuses against ethnic minorities in the far western region.

“In response to the wrongful move by the US, China has decided to take reciprocal action against institutions and individuals who have acted egregiously on Xinjiang affairs,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Friday.

Asked what those measures would be, Zhao said only that “the details will be out very soon”.

He also urged the US to withdraw its sanctions, and said China’s stance on sovereignty and counterterrorism issues was “unshakeable”.The sanctions announced by the US government on Thursday named Chen Quanguo, the Communist Party chief of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, and three other top officials from the region’s leadership, as well as its police department.