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China sanctions two US individuals over illegal US sanctions on Xizang region

《环球时报·英文版》 2022-12-23

Chinese Foreign Ministry on Friday announced sanctions on Yu Maochun, known as Miles Yu in the US, and Todd Stein as countermeasures to the illegal US sanctions of two Chinese officials on so-called human rights issues related to China's Xizang region.

On December 9, the US sanctioned two Chinese officials over alleged human rights abuses in Xizang. In response, China said the sanctions were illegal and seriously harmed China-US relations.

Yu has played an important role in Washington's new Cold War against China. Todd Stein, deputy staff director of the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China, is also director of "Government Relations at the International Campaign for Tibet" and has been actively pushing bills targeting China's Xizang region.

China will freeze all Chinese assets of both Yu and Stein, and ban any organization or individual within China from engaging with them. Both men and their immediate family members are also banned from entering China, according to the Foreign Ministry statement.

The order, which takes effect from Friday, was signed by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told the press conference on Friday that under the pretext of so-called human rights issues, the US imposed illegal sanctions on Chinese officials, which severely violated China's domestic affairs and the norms of the international relations. China firmly opposes and strongly condemns the US' action.

Affairs in the Xizang region are those of China's internal affairs and the US has no right and is not eligible to interfere with, and any intervention will face firm countermeasures from China, Mao said.

China's sanctions against Yu and Stein as countermeasures ahead of a phone call between State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken serve as a reminder to Blinken to "do more for the benefit of China-US relations, not the opposite," Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times.

The Chinese government will not tolerate anyone who undermines China-US relations or China's major interests, nor can the US seek cooperation with China while at the same time harming China's interests, Li said.

The sanctions were released under the orders of the Foreign Ministry, a rare move designed to underscore China's firm attitude against anti-China forces. The two individuals have been behind the malicious rumors defaming China, especially Yu, who has had very negative influence on the US' China policy,Xin Qiang, deputy director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University, told the Global Times on Friday.

The expert noted that China's sanctions are also a signal to those anti-China forces as they will be sanctioned for slandering China.

Together with former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, Yu is believed to have promoted a number of anti-China initiatives, such as advocating for restrictions on visas, imposing trade sanctions, and the spreading of the COVID-19 origins conspiracy theory.

The Chinese FM's sanctions also showed that China has the capability to impose countermeasures in responding to US' sanctions and it is possible that China will strengthen its toolbox in taking countermeasures on sanctioning individuals like Yu, Xin said.