United States Continues to Level Sanctions Against Chinese Officials and Entities Tied to Persecution, Internment, Forced Labor of Minorities

Photo by Katie Moum on Unsplash

The United States has continued unmitigated to publicly hold Chinese officials accountable to the persecution, internment, forced labor, torture, and re-indoctrination of Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minorities- predominantly Muslims- in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. On July 1st, the U.S. State Department, Department of Commerce, and Department of Homeland Security came together in a monumental establishment of the Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory to call on manufacturers around the world to terminate supply chains with ties to forced labor in China.

Following its July 9th sanctions on Chen Quanguo, Huo Liujun, Wang Mingshan, and Zhu Hailun– all of whom are responsible for their role in planning, implementing, and supporting the mass surveillance, internment, and coerced labor of Uyghurs and other minorities- the United States Department of the Treasury has launched a new round of sanctions, this time against (1) the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), (2) former XPCC Political Commissar Sun Jinlong, and (3) XPCC Deputy Party Secretary and Commander Peng Jiarui. The Treasury states:

“The XPCC is a paramilitary organization in the XUAR that is subordinate to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The XPCC enhances internal control over the region by advancing China’s vision of economic development in XUAR that emphasizes subordination to central planning and resource extraction….The XPCC was designated today for being owned or controlled by, or for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Chen [Quanguo].”

The XPCC is also the primary organization that controls the implementation of educational and healthcare policy in Xinjiang, as well as leads the region’s prison complexes and businesses that thrive on coerced labor. USCIRF Commissioner Nury Turkel has stated that “The XPCC is essentially a parallel government in Xinjiang and has been directly involved in implementing the surveillance, mass detention, and forced labor of Uyghurs.”

Regarding these new sanctions, USCIRF has released the following statement:

“For years, we have advocated for sanctioning the XPCC. This announcement is a significant step even beyond the sanctions announced earlier this month against senior Communist Party officials. This latest round of sanctions show that the U.S. government is increasingly able to identify and target those Chinese entities most responsible for religious freedom abuses against Uyghur and other Muslims. Communist China can no longer hide its religious freedom abuses from the world.”