China sanctions a Xinjiang monitor based in the United States

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By Creative Media News

  • China sanctions US firm
  • Human rights monitoring
  • Retaliation for Xinjiang report

A research organization from the United States conducting human rights monitoring in the northwestern region of Xinjiang has been sanctioned by China.

Late on Tuesday night, China issued a statement prohibiting entry to Kharon, a research and data analytics firm headquartered in Los Angeles, along with its two principal analysts. The organization has published in-depth analyses of allegations that Beijing violates the human rights of Uighurs and other Muslim minority groups.

Edmund Xu, director of investigations, and Nicole Morgret, a human rights analyst affiliated with the Centre for Advanced Defence Studies, were identified in a statement issued by Mao Ning, a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, as the two barred analysts.

In China, all assets and property owned by the organization or its representatives will be seized. Entities and individuals located in China are strictly forbidden from engaging in transactions or collaborating in any way with them.

According to the statement, the sanctions were retaliatory, responding to Kharon’s contribution to a US government report on human rights in Xinjiang.

Uighurs and other indigenous populations of the area have long harboured animosity towards oppressive rule and endeavours to assimilate them into the Han ethnic majority of the Chinese Communist Party, due to their religious, linguistic, and cultural connections with the dispersed peoples of Central Asia.

“As a result of the Chinese government’s concerted effort to industrialize the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), an increasing number of corporations are establishing manufacturing operations there,” Morgret wrote in a June 2022 publication.

Controversy Surrounding Xinjiang

“By means of a coerced labour regime, this centrally-controlled industrial policy is a crucial instrument in the government’s scheme to forcibly assimilate Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples,” she continued.

These reports are compiled from an extensive array of sources, which may include non-governmental organizations, independent media outlets, and groups that are supported by grants or other external funding from governments and corporations.

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China has consistently refuted accusations of human rights violations in Xinjiang, asserting that the extensive network of correctional facilities, resembling prisons, that hundreds of thousands of Muslim citizens have traversed were designed solely to inoculate them from violent and extremist inclinations and provide them with vocational training.

Former inmates recount arduous conditions enforced without due legal procedure, wherein they were compelled to denounce their culture and daily chant the praises of the Communist Party and President Xi Jinping.

According to China, the camps have been completely shut down; however, numerous former detainees have allegedly been sentenced to extended prison terms in other countries. Movement outside the region is strictly regulated, including access for journalists, diplomats, Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other Muslim minorities.

Mao was quoted as saying, “By publishing the report, the United States once more disseminated false information about Xinjiang and unlawfully sanctioned Chinese officials and businesses on the grounds of alleged human rights concerns.

Mao was quoted as telling reporters at a previous news briefing, “China will not hesitate to respond in kind if the United States refuses to alter its course of action.”

Visa bans and various other sanctions have been imposed by the United States on dozens of Chinese and Hong Kong semi-autonomous city officials, including the former defense minister of China, who vanished for reasons that China has yet to provide an explanation for.

Uncertainty surrounding the whereabouts of China’s foreign minister, who was also replaced this year, has contributed to speculation that party leader and permanent head of state Xi is purging officials suspected of collaborating with foreign governments or demonstrating inadequate loyalty to China’s most autocratic leader since Mao Zedong.

It is not immediately apparent to what extent, if any, Xu or Morgret were affiliated with the United States government.

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