For the first time in more than 30 years, the European Union has taken sanctions against Chinese officials. This is the result of China‘s violation of human rights of the Uyghurs, a Muslim minority in the northwestern province of Xinjiang. China responded by placing EU politicians and academics on the list of sanctions, including D66 Member of Parliament Sjoerd Sjoerdsma.
Defissionary Minister Bloc of Foreign Affairs will therefore call on the Chinese ambassador to our country, says a spokesperson for the Ministry.
The sanctions against China were already coming, as it turned out last week. They were confirmed today in Brussels by the 27 Foreign Ministers of the EU Member States. The penal measures mean that one organization and four Chinese individuals will be blacklisted. We are talking about four high-ranking officials in Xinjiang. They are subject to an entry ban and their assets are frozen.
The Uyghurs and other minorities are systematically oppressed in China. They are locked up in penal camps and detention centres in Xinjiang called “re-education camps” by the Chinese.
Witnesses have made statements of systematic imprisonment, rape, forced sterilization and torture. According to international researchers, China is guilty of genocide in the region. In the Netherlands, last month, the House of Representatives described the human rights violations as genocide.
The EU last imposed sanctions on China in 1989, when on 4 June the Chinese government put a bloody end to the peaceful student uprising in Tiananmen Square, Tiananmen Square, Tiananmen Square. Estimates of the number of deaths range from several hundred to many thousands.
As a result of the massacre, the European Union and the United States imposed an arms embargo which is still in force.
D66′er Sjoerdsma on Sanctions List
In response to sanctions, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the EU to reverse the ‘blatant violation of international law’ and not to interfere in China‘s internal affairs.
The country has also put ten individuals and four organisations within the EU on the sanctions list for “damaging China’s sovereignty and interests, and the malicious spread of lies and disinformation‘. Among them is D66-MP Sjoerd Shuerdsma, who was more critical about how China deals with the Uyghurs and called on not to hold next year’s Winter Olympics in China.
He also wanted a parliamentary inquiry into Chinese interference in Dutch society, including in the field of economic espionage and the Dutch education system.
In addition to Shuerdsma, five Members of the European Parliament, two European parliamentarians, two European academics and four organisations are on the list of people and organisations that have criticized the policy of the Chinese Government. The individuals and their families are not allowed to enter China, and they and the companies and institutions to which they belong are not allowed to do business with China.
Shoerdsma was also placed on the list of sanctions by Russia last year. A delegation of MPs would visit that country, but Shuerdsma was refused, according to his own claim because of his critical attitude towards Moscow, for example in the MH17 dossier. The whole delegation then decided not to leave.