Washington has imposed new sanctions on Chinese officials in response to “repressive acts” against ethnic and religious minorities. The move comes just days after the Joe Biden administration threatened penalties over China’s continued relations with Russia.
The State Department announced the sanctions on Monday, imposing visa restrictions on unspecified officials while accusing them of a range of abuses against “members of ethnic minority groups, dissidents, human rights defenders, journalists, labor organizers, civil society organizers and peaceful protesters.”
While the department made no mention of Russia, the penalties follow recent statements from National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and President Biden himself that the US would respond to Beijing’s ongoing support for Moscow despite its invasion of Ukraine.
Last week, Sullivan met with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in Rome, where he reportedly threatened “isolation” and sanctions over China’s ties with Russia. The sit-down lasted seven hours and was described as “intense” by an observer cited by Reuters.
Biden also spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping last Friday and outlined “implications and consequences” should Beijing provide “material support to Russia as it conducts brutal attacks against Ukrainian cities and civilians,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
According to a readout obtained by Xinhua, however, Xi was unmoved by the threat, invoking a favored aphorism: “Let he who tied the bell on the tiger’s neck take it off.” The Chinese president instead urged Washington and NATO to resolve the Ukraine crisis themselves and to address Russia’s security concerns.