The U.S. Treasury Department on Friday announced sanctions against the Chinese Communist Party’s operations in Xinjiang, where China is carrying out a cultural genocide of the Muslim Uyghur minority.
The sanctions pertain to China’s Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), a paramilitary group which operates much of the economy of Xinjiang and orchestrates the persecution of minorities, according to Axios. The sanctions also hit Sun Jinlong and Peng Jiarui, two high-level CCP members who have held senior positions within the XPCC, according to Treasury Department press release.
“As previously stated, the United States is committed to using the full breadth of its financial powers to hold human rights abusers accountable in Xinjiang and across the world,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. (RELATED: Can Banning Tik Tok Help Save Trump In November?)
The Trump administration accuses Chen of being the mastermind behind a recent escalation in repressive policies against Uyghurs in the region. The order also details China’s deployment of a notorious senior official to the Xinjiang region who is taking over the operation, Chen Quanguo. (RELATED: More Than 180 Human Rights Groups Call On Major Apparel Brands To End The Use Of Forced Uyghur Labor, An Accusation They Deny)
Chen “has a notorious history of intensifying security operations in the Tibetan Autonomous Region, where he was deployed before arriving in Xinjiang to tighten control over members of Tibetan ethnic minority groups,” the statement read. “Following his arrival in Xinjiang, Chen began implementing a comprehensive surveillance, detention, and indoctrination program targeting Uyghurs and members of other ethnic minority groups.”
Chen was placed under sanctions on July 9.
There have been numerous reports of the horrific conditions for ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, where they are subject to constant invasive surveillance, herded into camps, and undergo forced sterilizations and abortions.
The announcement of the sanctions coincided with reports that President Donald Trump is planning to issue an executive order demanding that the Chinese company Bytedance sell the U.S. social media company TikTok, which some have deemed a national security risk.