Britain’s Foreign Affairs Secretary Dominic Raab looks on as he walks outside Downing Street in London, Britain. File/Reuters
Britain said on Friday that China was targetting critics with sanctions and called on Beijing to allow international access to Xinjiang to verify the truth about human rights abuses in the province.
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“It speaks volumes that, while the UK joins the international community in sanctioning those responsible for human rights abuses, the Chinese government sanctions its critics,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement.
“If Beijing want to credibly rebut claims of human rights abuses in Xinjiang, it should allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights full access to verify the truth.”
The Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement it sanctioned four entities and nine individuals, including lawmakers such as former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith and the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission that “maliciously spread lies and disinformation.”
“China does not stir up trouble, but China is not afraid when others do. China is not the first to shoot, neither will we be passive and submissive to threats from the outside. Today’s world is not the world of 120 years ago. The Chinese people will not be bullied.”
The US on Friday imposed sanctions on Hong Kong officials, including the pro-China leader of the government, accusing them of cooperating with Beijing’s effort to undermine autonomy and crack down on freedom in the former British colony.
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