China announced sanctions on British individuals and entities Friday following the U.K. joining the EU and others in sanctioning Chinese officials accused of human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region, APA reports citing APNews.
The move was the opening salvo in its latest full-bore response to criticism and sanctions from the West.
A statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the move by the Western bloc was based on “nothing but lies and disinformation, flagrantly breaches international law and basic norms governing international relations, grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs, and severely undermines China-U.K. relations.”
Britain’s ambassador to China had been summoned for a diplomatic protest, the statement said. Sanctioned individuals and groups would be barred from visiting Chinese territory and banned from having financial transactions with Chinese citizens and institutions.
At a daily news briefing, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying unleashed a string of accusations against the U.S., the U.K., allied nations and portions of the Western media, saying they had been collaborating to subvert China’s unity and development.
Sanctions against Chinese officials over Xinjiang are part of an elaborate plot to destabilize the region and do not reflect any real concern for the rights of Muslims, Hu said, saying Beijing’s response was necessary to “defend China’s interests and dignity.”
“For a lengthy period of time, the U.S., U.K and others have felt free to say whatever they like without allowing others to do the same,” Hua said. Those days are over and the West will “have to gradually get used to it,” Hua said.