China sanctions 2 US citizens over action on Tibet

China has sanctioned two U.S. citizens in retaliation for action taken by Washington over human rights abuses in Tibet, the government said Friday, amid a continuing standoff between the sides over Beijing’s treatment of religious and ethnic minorities, APA reports citing the Washington Post.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Todd Stein and Miles Yu Maochun, along with their close family members, would be banned from entering China.

Any assets they had in China would be frozen, and they would be barred from contact with people or organizations within China.

The notice said the measures were in response to the U.S. sanctioning two Chinese citizens “under the excuse of the ‘Tibet human rights’ issue.” Neither could immediately be reached for comment.

On Dec. 9, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Wu Yingjie, the top official in Tibet from 2016 to 2021, and Zhang Hongbo, the region’s police chief since 2018.

“Our actions further aim to disrupt and deter the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) arbitrary detention and physical abuse of members of religious minority groups in the Tibetan Autonomous Region,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in announcing the sanctions.

An accompanying Treasury Department notice said Wu had been responsible for “stability policies” in Tibet whose implementation involved “serious human rights abuse, including extrajudicial killings, physical abuse, arbitrary arrests, and mass detentions.”

It said that during Zhang’s tenure, police have been engaged in serious human rights abuses, including “torture, physical abuse, and killings of prisoners, which included those arrested on religious and political grounds.”

The Chinese announcement gave no specific accusations against Stein and Yu.

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