US on Friday announced sanctions on two Chinese officials for serious human rights abuse in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), according to the US Department of Treasury.
The Chinese officials, named Wu Yingjie (Wu) and Zhang Hongbo (Zhang) have been named as those involved in rights violations by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) which is a financial intelligence and enforcement agency of the U S Treasury Department.
The agency administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions in support of US national security and foreign policy objectives. Notably, the Treasury has sanctioned over 40 individuals and entities across nine countries connected to corruption and human rights abuse. According to the official release of US Treasury Department, Wu Yingjie was the TAR Party Secretary between 2016 and 2021 and directed government officials to engage in "stability policies."
These stability measures' implementation resulted in grave violations of human rights, such as extrajudicial killings, physical abuse, arbitrary arrests, and mass detentions in the TAR. Forced abortion, forced sterilisation, restrictions on political and religious freedom, and the torture of prisoners were additional violations committed during Wu's leadership.
Whereas, Zhang Hongbo worked to advance the People's Republic of China's (PRC) goals and policies in the TAR as "Tibet's police chief." During his tenure as the chief, he engaged in severe human rights abuse, including at TPSB-run detention centres that were involved in the torture, physical abuse, and killings of prisoners, which also included those arrested on religious and political grounds.
The Tibetan Public Security Bureau (TPSB) has had Zhang Hongbo (Zhang) as its director from 2018 till November 2022, the official release stated. "By sanctioning Chinese officials for their abuse of Tibetan rights, the United States has once again put the spotlight on the situation in Tibet.
The Communist regime's decades-long, brutal occupation of Tibet has been a model for its abuse of Uyghurs, Hong Kongers, Mongolians and even Chinese," the International Campaign for Tibet, an advocacy group in Washington and Europe that promotes human rights and democratic freedoms for the Tibetan people said regarding the sanctions.
It further commended the Biden administration for raising the pressure on Beijing through these sanctions for its human rights violation in Tibet. This legislation offers a solution to resolve the Tibetan question while taking Chinese interests into account. Additionally, it empowers the US to defend the rights of the Tibetan people by all means.
"The next step is for the US Congress to pass the bipartisan Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Conflict Act. This legislation provides a pathway to solving the Tibetan issue while keeping in consideration Chinese interests. At the same time, it enables the United States to protect the rights of the Tibetan people until China resumes the dialogue process and takes it to its logical conclusion, " the International Campaign for Tibet added.
As a result of the sanctions put by the US Treasury Department, All assets and interests in assets of the aforementioned designated persons that are in the United States or under the possession or control of US citizens are blocked by the OFAC.
In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 per cent or more by one or more blocked persons, individually or in the aggregate Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or exempt, OFAC's regulations generally prohibit all transactions by US persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons, the US Treasury Department said in a press release.
The giving of any gifts or providing of finances, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of the persons sanctioned as well as the receiving of any gifts or providing of funds, goods, or services from any said person is prohibited, as per the US Department of Treasury.