On 22 March, the European Union adopted its first “targeted sanctions” against China for human rights violations due to the violent repression of the Turkish-speaking Muslim Uighur minority in the autonomous region of Xinjiang (located in the remote western region of China).

The sanctions include asset freezes and travel bans to EU borders for four Chinese officials, but sparing the Communist Party secretary in the region, considered the main architect of the repression of the Uighurs. Beijing hits back with sanctions on four entities and ten people, all of whom are at the forefront of the Xinjiang issue, including five MEPs Reinhard Bütikofer, Michael Gahler, Raphaël Glucksmann, Ilhan Kyuchyuk and Miriam Lexmann.

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