The Trump administration has announced it will sanction the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), a paramilitary organization operating in Xinjiang, where Chinese authorities, aided by the XPCC, are perpetrating a cultural and demographic genocide against ethnic minorities.
Why it matters: XPCC controls vast swaths of the economy in Xinjiang. Depending on how rigorously the sanctions are enforced, they could hobble the region’s economy and blunt China’s plans for further economic development of the region.
The Trump administration also said it would sanction two Chinese Communist Party officials affiliated with the XPCC, according to a press release from the Department of Treasury.
- “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.
- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also announced the sanctions on Twitter, writing, “We call on the world to join us in condemning the CCP’s heinous abuse of the human rights of its own citizens.”
- The sanctions fall under the Global Magnitsky Act, implemented in 2016 to make it easier for the U.S. government to sanction foreign government officials and entities complicit in human rights abuses.