Time.news – The EU, the United States and Canada have taken action against China. Several Chinese officials were sanctioned for persecuting Uighur Muslims
in the Xinjiang region, and Beijing immediately reacted with sanctions against a dozen European personalities, including five MEPs.
EU foreign ministers approved the inclusion of four leaders and one entity from China’s Xinjiang region on the list of sanctions for human rights violations established in December 2020. The UK and Canada have taken the same measures of the EU. The United States instead sanctioned two of the four Chinese officials identified by the Europeans.
European sanctions consist of a travel ban in the EU and the freezing of assets held in the EU. US sanctions “complement” those of the EU and Canada, according to Washington.
Beijing responded to Brussels’ decision by sanctioning ten European personalities, including five Members of the European Parliament, accused “of seriously undermining the sovereignty and interests of China and of spreading lies and disinformation”.
Four European foundations are also involved, including the Alliance of Democracies, a Danish institution led by former NATO secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Europeans and their families will be banned from staying in China, Hong Kong and Macau.
Beijing also hit the Political and Security Committee (PSC), a body that brings together the ambassadors of the member states in Brussels that has prepared the sanctions.
“These sanctions are unacceptable,” said the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell. “China is not responding to any of the EU’s concerns and is veiling its face,” he added. “These sanctions will have no influence on the EU’s determination to react to all human rights violations,” he said.
The Hague summoned the Chinese ambassador to the Netherlands to protest the sanction of one of his MEPs.
“It is terrible. It gives a shiver in the back to see that a dictatorial regime can attack an MP and his family in this way,” said the Belgian MEP. Samuel Cogolati. The French MEP Raphael Glucksmann, engaged in the defense of the Uighurs, for his part said he was flattered by the decision of the Chinese authorities. He deemed it his “legion of honor,” he tweeted.
With Russia, EU relations are no better than those with China. Foreign ministers have launched sanctions on some Russian officials for torture and repression against LGBT people and political opponents in Chechnya. In view of the summit of the heads of state and government on Thursday and Friday, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, had a telephone conversation with the Russian president. And she was far from friendly.
“The ties between the EU and Russia are at a low point” declared Michel who confirmed “the EU approach to the five guiding principles, based on the fundamental values of the Union.” Michel reiterated that “currently there there is disagreement in many areas. “” From the EU’s point of view, relations with Russia can only take a different direction if there is steady progress on issues such as the implementation of the Minsk agreements, stopping hybrid attacks and to the Member States and respect for human rights, ”he added.
The NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, it was even tougher: “Russia continues its behavior of internal oppression, towards peaceful dissidents, and aggression towards foreign countries”, he said at the presentation of the summit of NATO foreign ministers to be held tomorrow and Wednesday. . “President Putin is, of course, ultimately responsible for all actions carried out by the Russian state, and we have seen a pattern of aggressive behavior, including targeted attempts and assassinations of opponents,” Stoltenberg added, embracing the American president’s line. Joe Biden, who had called the Russian head of state a “killer”.