Selin ATAY-TDO- The Trump administration on Friday blacklisted a current and a former Chinese government official, and a paramilitary organization accused of being instrumental in Beijing's crackdown on Turkic-Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang.
According to a statement issued by the Treasury Department, the designations include the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), Sun Jinlong, a former XPCC operative, and Peng Jiarui, a Chinese government official and XPCC commander.
“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 stated.
U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also announced the sanctions via his Twitter account "We call on the world to join us in condemning the CCP’s heinous abuse of the human rights of its own citizens."
The XPCC is a Chinese government paramilitary unit that operates in Xinjiang that "enhances internal control over the region by advancing China’s vision of economic development in XUAR that emphasizes subordination to central planning and resource extraction," the Treasury said in a statement by using an acronym that refers to the northwestern autonomous region of Xinjiang.
The XPCC, also known as the "Bingtuan" meaning "military unit" in Chinese, is a powerful, secretive organization that has dominated Xinjiang's economy and politics for decades.
According to U.S. officials and United Nations experts, up to 1 million people, or about 7% of the Muslim population in Xinjiang, have been incarcerated in an expanding network of "political re-education" camps.