Last week the Federal government announced sanctions against an entity of the government of the People’s Republic of China and two current or former Chinese officials over allegations of their involvement with persecution of minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).
On Friday the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) and two of its officials have been engaged in serious human rights abuses in the XUAR against the Uyghur ethnic minority. The designated parties have allegedly been involved in mass arbitrary detentions of Uyghurs as well as carrying out excessive physical abuse against detainees.
OFAC says the XPCC is organized as a military unit, with 14 divisions with several regiments beneath them. One designee is the current First Political Commissar of the XPCC and the current Communist Party Secretary of XUAR who, per the Office, is well-known for increasing security operations in Tibet prior to his assignment to XPCC.
The action is but the latest in a long line of sanctions against individuals and organizations allegedly involved in nefarious behavior against Uyghurs. At the beginning of last month several Federal government departments issued the Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory, which is intended to inform businesses that may have links in their supply chain that are located in XUAR and may be involved in abuses. Over the past year the Federal government has sanctioned 37 entities in the People’s Republic of China for alleged involvement in abuses in XUAR as well as restricting entry visas for Chinese government officials alleged to be involved in human rights abuses.