China slapped sanctions on U.K. entities on Friday, saying that Britain’s sanctions on Chinese individuals over alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang were based on “lies and disinformation.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs imposed sanctions on four U.K. entities and nine individuals that will be prohibited from doing business with China. Their assets in the country will also be frozen, the ministry said. The new sanctions on the U.K. primarily target individuals involved with human rights, particularly those of the Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. Xinjiang is home to the Uyghur Muslims, an ethnic minority that the United Nations, United States, United Kingdom and others have identified as a repressed group. The U.S., EU, U.K. and Canada on Monday imposed sanctions on Chinese officials, the first coordinated action by Western nations since U.S. President Joe Biden took office. The countries cited human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region of China — accusations Beijing has repeatedly denied.