Beijing warns EU on Xinjiang sanctions

The bloc’s Foreign Ministers are expected to blacklist persons or entities in China.

China’s Ambassador to the EU on Tuesday warned against imposing sanctions on Beijing over its actions in the Xinjiang region, as the bloc decides how to respond to the crackdown on the Uighur minority.

“I want to emphasise that sanctions are confrontation. Sanctions based on lies could be interpreted as deliberately undermining China’s security and development interests,” Ambassador Zhang Ming said.

“We want dialogue not confrontation. We ask the EU side to think twice. If some insist on confrontation we will not back down as we have no options but fulfilling our responsibilities to people of our country.”

The EU is currently drawing up plans to expand the bloc’s global human rights sanctions regime after sanctioning four Russian officials over the jailing of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

European diplomats said the bloc’s 27 Foreign Ministers are expected to agree at a meeting on Monday to add a small number of individuals or entities in China to the blacklist over the treatment of the Uighurs and other Muslim minorities.

Officials in other countries including Russia, North Korea and Eritrea are also expected to be hit with asset freezes and visa bans over alleged human rights abuses.

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