China sanctions US lawmakers in retaliation for Xinjiang measures

Beijing will sanction a group of US politicians in retaliation for measures announced by Washington last week over alleged human rights abuses against ethnic minorities in China’s far west.

Hua Chunying, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman, said at a press conference on Monday that Beijing would sanction Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, House Representative Chris Smith and Sam Brownback, Donald Trump’s ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.

Ms Hua said the sanctions would take effect on Monday but did not elaborate on what the measures would entail.

Beijing retaliated after the Trump administration last week sanctioned several senior Chinese Communist party officials over their involvement in the detention of more than 1m Muslim Uighurs in re-education camps in Xinjiang province.

The Treasury said the Chinese officials included Chen Quanguo, the Communist party secretary of Xinjiang, and Zhu Hailun, who helped oversee policy in the province. The sanctions also target Wang Mingshan, head of the Xinjiang public security bureau, and Huo Liujun, a former head of the bureau.