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China vows to hit US with ‘reciprocal measures’ after Xinjiang sanctions

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China said Friday it will impose tit-for-tat measures on US institutions and individuals who “behave badly” on Xinjiang-related issues after Washington slapped sanctions on Chinese officials over a crackdown on Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims in the region.

The Chinese response came after the US announced visa bans and an assets freeze on three officials, including Chen Quanquo, the Chinese Communist Party chief in Xinjiang and architect of Beijing’s hardline policies against restive minorities.

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“The US actions seriously interfere in China‘s internal affairs, seriously violate the basic norms of international relations, and seriously damage China-US relations,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said in a briefing.

“In response to the wrong actions of the US, China has decided to impose reciprocal measures against the relevant US institutions and individuals who behave badly on Xinjiang-related issues,” Zhao said without providing details about the sanctions.

Witnesses and human rights groups say that China has rounded up more than one million Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang in a vast brainwashing campaign aimed at forcibly homogenising minorities into the country’s Han majority.

China counters that the facilities are benign vocational education centres where “students” learn Mandarin and job skills in an effort to eradicate extremism following a spate of deadly violence.

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The US sanctions were imposed under the Global Magnitsky Act, which allows Washington to target human rights violators worldwide by freezing any US assets, banning US travel and prohibiting Americans from doing business with them.

Sanctions ‘no joke’

The highly anticipated action followed months of criticism of China over its handling of the novel coronavirus outbreak and its tightening grip on Hong Kong.

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A senior US administration official who briefed reporters after the sanctions were announced described Chen as the highest ranking Chinese official ever sanctioned by Washington.

The blacklisting is “no joke,” he said. “Not only in terms of symbolic and reputational affect, but it does have real meaning on a person’s ability to move around the world and conduct business.”

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Sanctions were also imposed on Zhu Hailun, a former deputy party secretary and current deputy secretary of regional legislative body the Xinjiang’s People’s Congress; Wang Mingshan, the director and Communist Party secretary of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau; and former party secretary of the bureau Huo Liujun.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington was also barring Chen, Zhu, Wang and their immediate families, as well as other unnamed Chinese Communist Party officials, from traveling to the United States.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)


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2020 Election

Facebook removes network of fake accounts that posed as Trump supporters

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Facebook said Thursday it took down accounts running a deceptive campaign out of Romania pretending to be Americans supporting US President Donald Trump ahead of the coming election.

The leading online social network removed 35 Facebook accounts, three pages, and 88 Instagram accounts as part of an ongoing fight against "coordinated inauthentic behavior," according to security policy head Nathaniel Gleicher.

"The people behind this network used fake accounts to pose as Americans, amplify and comment on their own content, and manage pages including some posing as President Trump fan pages," Gleicher said.

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2020 Election

Brace yourself for months of lawlessness — ‘Election Night’ likely will not end until 2021

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There’s nothing wrong with treating American politics like a sport as long as everyone involved in the competition is playing the same sport by the same rules. There’s nothing wrong as long as both sides agree the rules are legitimate, both commit to obeying them and both accept the consequences when they break them.

This article was originally published at The Editorial Board

But there is a problem with treating American politics like a sport when one side is playing soccer and the other is playing football while neither can agree to the rules, because one side won’t commit to obeying them. There is something wrong when one side not only refuses to accept the consequences of rule-breaking but sets out to undermine the idea of rules altogether. In that case, treating politics like a sport, as the Washington press corps habitually does, isn’t helpful. It’s harmful. Even dangerous.

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2020 Election

‘Deranged’ Trump pummeled for lying that ‘practicing Catholic’ Joe Biden will ‘hurt God’

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President Donald Trump used a supposedly non-political event Thursday afternoon to attack his Democratic opponent with a lie, saying former Vice President Joe Biden will "hurt God" if elected.

In the strange pronouncement on the tarmac in Cleveland, Ohio, Trump falsely claimed that Biden will "take away your guns. Destroy your Second Amendment. No religion. No anything. Hurt the Bible. Hurt God. He’s against God. He’s against guns. He’s against energy."

A completely deranged Trump claims Joe Biden will "hurt God" if elected president pic.twitter.com/cJ8fbghmAm

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