China slams US sanctions over alleged human rights abuses in Tibet

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US sanctions on two senior Chinese officials over alleged human rights abuses in Tibet were illegal and seriously harmed Sino-US ties, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Monday.

China rejects accusations that it has used harsh policies to quell ethnic dissent and control religious activities in the rugged Himalayan region of Tibet.

The comments came after the US Treasury department said on Friday it imposed sanctions on Wu Yingjie, the chief of the ruling Communist Party in Tibet between 2016 and 2021, and Zhang Hongbo, a senior public security official in the region.

Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the steps were a gross interference in China’s internal affairs and a violation of basic norms of international relations.

“We urge the US side to immediately withdraw the so-called sanctions,” he told a regular briefing.

They did serious damage to Sino-US relations, Wang said, adding that China would safeguard its legitimate rights and interests.

“The United States has no right to impose sanctions on other countries at every turn and is not qualified to play the world police,” Wang added.

Wang also criticized comments on Saturday by Nicholas Burns, the US ambassador to China, as being “full of lies and prejudice”.

Burns had said the United States remained “deeply concerned” over what it saw as China’s failure to live up to its international commitment to protect rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in areas such as Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang.

“We urge the US side to stop using human rights issues to smear China, to stop using human rights issues to interfere in China’s internal affairs and to undermine China’s stability,” Wang added.

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