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US sanctions Chinese officials over human rights abuses in Xinjiang

DPA
Washington
The US Treasury Department has sanctioned four Chinese officials over the alleged abuse of Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region, including one top Communist party leader who is seen as an architect of mass detention programmes.
It is unclear if any of those sanctioned have financial links to the United States, making the move mostly symbolic, but coming at a time of heightened tensions between Beijing and Washington.
The US government estimates that over 1 million members of Muslim ethnic minority groups, in particular the Uighurs, have been held in so-called re-education camps in China’s Xinjiang autonomous region.
Among those sanctioned is Chen Quanguo, a member of the Politburo and a top official in Xinjiang.
“The United States is committed to using the full breadth of its financial powers to hold human rights abusers accountable in Xinjiang and across the world,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US would “not stand idly by as the Chinese Communist Party carries out human rights abuses targeting [Uighurs], ethnic Kazakhs, and members of other minority groups in Xinjiang.