U.S. Readies ‘Harsh’ Sanctions on China Over Abuses in Xinjiang

By Nick Wadhams and Jenny Leonard | July 1, 2020 | Bloomberg

The U.S. is preparing to roll out long-delayed sanctions to punish senior Chinese officials over human-rights abuses against Muslims in Xinjiang, two people familiar with the matter said, and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo vowed any measures would be “harsh.”

The sanctions, part of a toughening of the Trump administration’s stance toward Beijing, are likely to target Communist Party officials responsible for the internment and persecution of minorities in Xinjiang, according to the people. They declined to say who specifically would be cited or when the sanctions would be rolled out.

The administration is acting under the 2016 Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which give the U.S. broad authority to impose human-rights sanctions on foreign officials. The sanctions were delayed amid negotiations over a U.S.-China trade deal, but President Donald Trump signed a law last week requiring him to punish officials responsible for oppression of Uighurs and members of other minority groups.

“President Trump has been very clear when he signed this bill, the Uighur bill last week, that we were going to take this seriously, we were going to deal with it, we were going to put harsh restrictions in place,” Pompeo said Wednesday in an interview on Fox News. “We’re working on that.”