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The United States on Friday imposed extensive sanctions and visa bans on dozens of people and entities tied to China, Myanmar, North Korea and Bangladesh.
This action was carried out to mark Human Rights Day. Five other countries, including Russia, were also targeted by the punitive measures.
Canada and the United Kingdom joined the US in imposing sanctions related to human rights abuses in Myanmar. The US also imposed new sanctions on North Korea.
“Our actions today, particularly those in partnership with the United Kingdom and Canada, send a message that democracies around the world will act against those who abuse the power of the state to inflict suffering and repression,” Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said in a statement.
“On International Human Rights Day, Treasury is using its tools to expose and hold accountable perpetrators of serious human rights abuse.”
The measures are the latest in a raft of sanctions timed to coincide with Biden’s two-day virtual Summit for Democracy, where he announced initiatives to bolster democracy around the world and support for pro-democracy legislation in the United States.
The measures are the latest of US sanctions timed to coincide with US President Joe Biden’s two-day virtual Summit for Democracy.
Biden said at the summit that commitments from more than 100 world leaders would help push back against rising autocracy. “This is going to help seed fertile ground for democracy to bloom around the world,” Biden said in a speech at the summit.
China’s embassy in Washington denounced the move, saying it represented “serious interference in China’s internal affairs” and a “severe violation of basic norms governing international relations.”
The US has added Chinese AI company SenseTime group to an investment blacklist of “Chinese military-industrial complex companies.”
The US Treasury accuses the company of having developed facial recognition programs that can determine a target’s ethnicity with a particular focus on identifying Uyghurs, a predominantly Muslim ethnic group.
SenseTime is close to selling 1.5 billion shares (worth $767 billion, €678 billion) in an initial public offering. After news of the Treasury restrictions, the company began discussing the fate of the planned offering.
UN experts estimate more than a million people, mainly Uyghurs and members of other Turkic Muslim minorities, have been detained in recent years in a system of camps in China’s Xinjiang region.
Also on the list is the European Institute Justo in Moscow for sponsoring work visas for construction workers from North Korea, as well as four junta officials from Myanmar.
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