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Responding to US sanctions, China threatens to 'strike back'

Responding to sweeping US sanctions imposed on dozens of people and entities tied to China, Myanmar, North Korea and Bangladesh; China's Foreign Minister, Wang Wenbin, urged America to "immediately withdraw the relevant wrong decision and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs".

“If the US acts recklessly, China will take effective measures to strike back resolutely,” Wang told reporters on Monday.

The US sanctions follow the conclusion of the Biden administration's "Summit for Democracy" and come alongside the first new sanctions on North Korea under Biden's presidency and targetted sanctions on Myanmar's military. Both Canada and the UK have joined the US in imposing sanctions related to human rights abuses in Myanmar. The sanctions were announced on international Human Rights Day.

Defending genocide

Wang's statement stressed China's sovereignty and territorial integrity whilst also defending China's draconian treatment of the Uighur Muslim population in the autonomous region of Xinjiang.

Wang claimed that China was determined "to combat violence, terrorism, separatism, and religious extremist forces".

“The perverse actions of the United States cannot destroy the overall shape of Xinjiang’s development, stop China’s progress, or reverse the trend of historical development” he added.

The statement comes as an independent UK-based tribunal has decried China's treatment of the Uighurs as an act of genocide. China has detained over a million Uighurs in "reeducation camps" where many have been subject to torture and forced sterilisation to reduce the group's population.
Commenting on the tribunal's findings, Sir Geoffrey Nice QC highlighted that China's "vast apparatus of state repression could not exist if a plan was not authorised at the highest levels”.

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