The Mysterious Case of the Disappearing China Sanctions

A photo posted to the WeChat account of the Xinjiang Judicial Administration shows Uyghur detainees listening to a 'de-radicalization' speech at a re-education camp in Hotan prefecture's Lop county, April 2017.  Wikipedia

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APRIL 11, 2019, 5:09 PM

Two human rights advocates who focus on China issues say they were told by U.S. officials last year that the Trump administration was preparing to impose sanctions on Beijing in December over its treatment of Uighur Muslims in the country’s western region of Xinjiang.

The advocates were given to understand that the sanctions would fall under the Global Magnitsky Act, which enables the U.S. government to place travel bans and asset freezes on human rights abusers.

But when International Human Rights Day came and went on Dec. 10—the day the United States customarily unveils a tranche of such sanctions each year—no announcement was made. The activists believe the administration squelched the plan in order to avoid harming trade talks with China.

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