China sanctions Icelandic individual in retaliation over Xinjiang measures

BEIJING (REUTERS) – Beijing has sanctioned an individual from Iceland, China’s embassy in Reykjavik said on Friday (April 16), after the island nation sanctioned Chinese officials over alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

Iceland’s move, which follows sanctions imposed on Chinese officials last month by the European Union, United States, Britain and Canada, was based on “nothing but lies and disinformation”, the Chinese embassy said in a statement.

Western governments are seeking to hold Beijing accountable for mass detentions of Muslim Uighurs in northwestern China, where the United States says China is committing genocide. China denies all accusations of abuse.

The embassy said Beijing has decided to impose reciprocal sanctions on an unnamed Icelandic person “who seriously harms China’s sovereignty and interests by maliciously spreading lies and disinformation”.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has summoned Iceland’s ambassador to China to lodge solemn representations and expressed its strong condemnation, said the embassy.

“We demand that Iceland should truly respect China’s sovereignty, security, and development interests, and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs under the pretext of human rights issues,” said the statement.

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