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U.S. sanctions Chinese officials for human rights abuses against Uighur minority

The U.S. Treasury and State Departments have issued sanctions against several Chinese officials over their human rights abuses against China's Uighur Muslims and other minority groups.

The treasury sanctioned several Xinjiang province officials for their abuses to seize any of their U.S. assets under the Global Magnitsky Act. In addition, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced he had "designated" three of those officials "for gross violations of human rights" to block them from accessing visas. Xinjiang is a western province where the Uighur Muslim people largely live. China has severely limited the ethnic minority's freedoms over the past few years and subjected many people to concentration and re-education camps. Recent reports indicate Chinese officials had implemented forced sterilization on the Uighurs, among other disturbing abuses.

The Trump administration had previously been criticized for putting trade negotiations ahead of punishing China for those rights violations. Former National Security Adviser John Bolton alleged in his White House memoir that Trump had encouraged Chinese President Xi Jinping to build the camps.

Meanwhile, President Trump has yet to sign the Hong Kong Autonomy Act. The bill cleared the Senate last week, and would sanction businesses and Chinese leaders after the country moved to restrict Hong Kong's independence from Beijing.