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Politics China sanctions US religious leader, former Trump appointee

17:15  27 may  2021
17:15  27 may  2021 Source:   thehill.com

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The Chinese government has imposed retaliatory sanctions on an American citizen who served on the U . S . government’s commission on international religious freedom. The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday announced sanctions against Johnnie Moore, an evangelical pastor and business owner, saying that he and his family are barred from entering mainland China , Hong Kong or Macau. “In response to the US blatant move to endorse cults and impose unilateral sanctions to Chinese personnel based on lies and disinformation, China decides to sanction Johnnie Moore

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration imposed sanctions on Thursday on multiple officials from China , including a senior member of the Communist Party, over human rights abuses against the largely Muslim Uighur minority, a move that is likely to inflame tensions between Washington and Beijing. The move also comes after talks first arose in 2018 in the Trump administration to punish senior Chinese officials and companies for the detention of ethnic Uighurs and other minority Muslims in large internment camps. But those discussions languished as trade advisers in the administration

The Chinese government has imposed retaliatory sanctions on an American citizen who served on the U.S. government's commission on international religious freedom.

China sanctions US religious leader, former Trump appointee © Getty Images China sanctions US religious leader, former Trump appointee

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday announced sanctions against Johnnie Moore, an evangelical pastor and business owner, saying that he and his family are barred from entering mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau.

"In response to the US blatant move to endorse cults and impose unilateral sanctions to Chinese personnel based on lies and disinformation, China decides to sanction Johnnie Moore, Commissioner of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said during a press conference.

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A federal religious freedom commissioner has said there is “no excuse” for the Trump administration “delaying action” to place sanctions on Chinese officials for abuses committed in the mass internment of Uyghurs. President Donald Trump signed legislation on June 17 that would impose financial and visa sanctions on individuals complicit in abuses in Xinjiang. The Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act directs the president to impose sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act—one of several laws authorizing the President to sanction human rights abusers.

The move is in retaliation for the U.S. earlier this month blacklisting former Chinese official Yu Hui for persecution of religious minorities, in particular the Chinese-banned Falun Gong movement.

The State Department did not respond to a request for comment on Moore's blacklisting.

USCIRF on Thursday condemned China for the sanctions on Moore.

It said the sanctions "will only draw more international attention to the atrocities and horrors being perpetrated by the Chinese government against the Uyghurs, Tibetan Buddhists, Christians, Falun Gong practitioners, and countless other Chinese citizens."

The USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan, federal commission mandated by Congress to monitor the state of religious freedom worldwide and make policy recommendations to the president, secretary of State and lawmakers.

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China sanctioned two officials from the U . S . Commission on International Religious Freedom: Chair Gayle Manchin, the wife of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), and Vice Chair Tony Perkins—a move that bars the two from visiting China or doing business there. China imposed similar sanctions on a member of Canada’s parliament Saturday, and it sanctioned people in the United Kingdom and the European Union earlier this week. Meanwhile, China imposed sanctions on multiple former Trump administration staffers in January, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Surprising Fact.

China said Friday it has sanctioned seven people, including former Trump Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, in response to U . S . penalties imposed on Chinese officials over Beijing's clampdown on democracy in Hong Kong. The reciprocal sanctions were imposed under China 's new Anti-Foreign They also came days before Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman is to visit China , making her the most senior U . S . official to visit China during the Biden administration. In addition to Ross, others sanctioned include Carolyn Bartholomew, chair of the U . S .- China Economic Security Review

Commissioners volunteer their time and are appointed by the president and Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate.

Moore was serving for the second time on USCIRF and was appointed by President Trump.

Moore stepped down as a commissioner from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) on May 14, telling The Hill he had long-planned to leave before his term expired in 2022 to spend more time with his family and religious and business ventures.

Moore is president of the Congress of Christian Leaders and the founder of the public relations firm KAIROS Company.

"Frankly, I have zero concerns about the sanctions. In fact, I count it a privilege," he told The Hill.

"It is, in fact, a tremendous way to close out my service knowing I had enough of an impact that I drew the ire of the foreign ministry of the CCP."

Moore is involved in promoting religious freedom for persecuted minorities in China, including Uyghur Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists and Christians, among others.

In December he "adopted" imprisoned Chinese pro-Democracy activist and media tycoon Jimmy Lai through the "Religious Prisoners of Conscience Project," as part of advocacy for Lai's freedom.

In April, Lai was sentenced to 14 months in prison on charges of unauthorized assembly stemming from his arrest in August 2020.

Uyghur exiles describe forced abortions, torture in Xinjiang .
ISTANBUL (AP) — Three Uyghurs who fled from China to Turkey have described forced abortions and torture by Chinese authorities in China’s far western Xinjiang region, ahead of giving testimony to a people’s tribunal in London that is investigating if Beijing’s actions against ethnic Uyghurs amount to genocide. The three witnesses include a woman who said she was forced into an abortion at 6 1/2 months pregnant, a former doctor who spoke of draconian birth control policies, and a former detainee who alleged he was “tortured day and night” by Chinese soldiers while he was imprisoned in the remote border region.

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This is interesting!