China retaliates in Canada and the United States by imposing sanctions on entities and individuals.
Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union all adopted sanctions on Monday against four Chinese officials and one entity for alleged human rights violations against Muslim minorities in China.
On Saturday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the country would respond to the move “based on rumors and misinformation.”
As for Canada, China is imposing sanctions on Conservative MP Michael Chung, as well as the International Human Rights Subcommittee of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development.
On social media, Rep. Chung said that democracies should “speak for the voiceless.”
“If that means that China is sanctioning me, I wear it as a sign of honor,” he wrote.
In the United States, USCIRF Chair Gail Mansion and Vice Chair Tony Perkins face sanctions.
Affected persons and entities are prohibited from visiting China and will not be able to do business or trade with Chinese citizens or organizations.
In its statement, the ministry warns that the Chinese government is “firmly committed to protecting its national sovereignty, security and development interests.”
And urges other countries to “stop the political manipulation and […] To interfere in China’s internal affairs, “or else they will burn their fingers.”
Like a bully in a school yard
Canadian Foreign Minister Mark Garneau on Saturday likened China to a “schoolyard bully” whose stance will only change if we are firm about it.
“I have known bullies in my life and I know that bullies can change, but they only change if I send them very clear messages,” Garneau said in a radio interview with CBC public station, referring to the sanctions that several countries, including Canada, have taken against Beijing.
However, the interview was recorded before the Chinese response was announced.
Mr. Garneau emphasized that Canada “reserves the right to take additional measures” if Beijing does not change its position.
He also welcomed the accession of about twenty countries to Canada to demand the release of the Canadians Michael Coffrig and Michael Spavor, who have been detained for more than two years in China on charges of “espionage.” For Ottawa, this is an “arbitrary arrest” in response to the arrest of the leader of the Chinese giant Huawei, at the request of the United States.
With Agence France-Presse