The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced new sanctions against UK institutions and individuals on Friday, following criticism of China’s behavior in the northwestern Xinjiang province and Western sanctions against party officials in the province.
Earlier last week, the US, UK, Canada, and European Union sanctioned Wang Junzheng, the Secretary of the Party Committee of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, and Chen Mingguo, Director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau. Chinese sanctions against the UK targeted those who “maliciously spread lies and disinformation,” and includes current and former politicians, barristers, and academics who have criticized China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang.
Four entities have also been sanctioned: China Research Group, Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, Uyghur Tribunal, and Essex Court Chambers. China Research Group and Conservative Party Human Rights Commission are both organized and operated by members of the Conservative Party. The Uyghur Tribunal is an investigatory organization established by Geoffrey Nice, a British barrister. Essex Court Chambers is one of the “magic circle” of prestigious barristers’ chambers in London.
These sanctions prevent entry into China or its special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macau, freezes any assets that these individuals or entities have in China, and prevents Chinese individuals or businesses from doing business with them.