Ottawa, along with four Chinese officials, will impose sanctions on the Chinese Economic Development Office for “engaging in gross and systematic human rights violations” against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities.
Also read: Uyghur “Genocide”: Revenge Against Canada?
Canada is thus forming a united front with the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom, all of which announced similar sanctions on Monday. China responded quickly by imposing sanctions on a dozen European officials on Monday.
“Today, we are taking steps in parallel with the actions of the European Union and sending a clear message in response to human rights violations and abuses in Xinjiang. We are uniting, “said David Cook, chief of The Christian Science Monitor’s Washington bureau.
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They reiterated their demand for “Xinjiang’s insignificant entry into the international community, including independent UN researchers, journalists and foreign diplomats.”
Canada’s sanctions “prohibit all transactions (ie freezing of their assets) that prohibit any person in Canada and any person abroad from making any transactions with these persons’ property or providing them with financial or related services,” the State Department explained.
The area where human rights violations take place is the Public Security Bureau of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.
“No connection” with Michael
Tensions have risen since the trial of Michael Kovrig, the second Canadian to be detained in China for more than two years, ended on Monday. The Michael Spear trial ended Friday. The two Michael are currently awaiting the verdict of their trials.
However, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made it clear on Monday that there was no connection between the arrest of the two Michaels and the establishment of these sanctions.
“We have long condemned the arbitrary detention of the two Michael and have been working with our allies around the world on this issue,” the Prime Minister proposed. When asked if the sanctions put the two Michaeles in further danger, Trudeau declined to comment.
Trudeau reprimanded the opposition
Despite these sanctions, opposition parties have criticized the Prime Minister for failing to qualify human rights abuses in Xinjiang as “genocide”. He reminded that he was elected by the Parliament but his cabinet and he has not taken this action yet.
Conservative leader Erin O’Toole said the sanctions had “reassured” the Conservatives, but that “while the Communist Party of China is still illegally and unilaterally detaining Michael Kovrig and Michael Spawar, the Prime Minister must abandon his innocent policy of governing China.”
Annami Paul, head of the Greens, said the refusal to recognize the “carnage” was contrary to “the responsibility to act under international law.” “The declared sanctions are a beginning, but not an end. Even if only one country knows that there is a serious risk of genocide occurring, everything must be done in its power to prevent genocide,” Ms Paul said.
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