CHINA HITS U.S., CANADA WITH SANCTIONS THAT ARE QUICKLY BELITTLED
A quarrel over allegations of human-rights abuses in China continued as Beijing announced retaliatory sanctions on individuals in the US and Canada and the corporate fallout spread, Alan Crawford reported for Bloomberg News.
Tensions have flared over reports of forced labor being used to harvest cotton in China’s western province of Xinjiang, accusations that Beijing routinely dismisses as politically motivated lies.
Hennes & Mauritz AB (H&M) stores in parts of China are being closed by their landlords after the Swedish fashion retailer’s comments on Xinjiang prompted an unofficial boycott.
Japanese brands Muji and Uniqlo became embroiled in the spat this week, while Oregon-based Nike Inc.’s shares sank as investors took fright at the potential impact on its Chinese business.
The sanctions announced Saturday target US Commission on International Religious Freedom (US CIRF) Chair Gayle Manchin, who is the wife of Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, USCIRF Vice Chair and president of the Christian conservative lobbying group Family Research Council, Tony Perkins, Canadian MP Michael Chong and the Canadian Parliament’s Subcommittee on International Human Rights.
Earlier in the week, the commission praised coordinated sanctions on Chinese officials by the US, Canada, and European countries over China’s treatment of its ethnic Uyghur minority in Xinjiang.
They are banned from visiting or doing business in Hong Kong, Macau, and China.
In response, Chong said on Twitter that the sanctions were “a badge of honor."
"We who live freely in democracies under the rule of law must speak for the voiceless," he added. Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau said in a statement that the country’s government “stands with Parliamentarians targeted by unacceptable sanctions by China,” Charles Capel and Jacob Gu also reported for Bloomberg News.