US Imposes sanctions on China, Others over Human Rights abuses

US Imposes sanctions on China, Myanmar, North Korea US President Joe Biden at the Summit For Democracy

The United States has imposed extensive human rights-related sanctions on dozens of people and entities tied to China, Myanmar, North Korea and Bangladesh, and added a Chinese artificial intelligence company to an investment blacklist.

Canada and the United Kingdom joined the United States in imposing sanctions related to human rights abuses in Myanmar, while Washington also imposed the first new sanctions on North Korea under President Joe Biden’s administration and targeted Myanmar military entities, among others, in action marking Human Rights Day.

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“Our actions today, particularly those in partnership with the United Kingdom and Canada, send a message that democracies around the world will act against those who abuse the power of the state to inflict suffering and repression,” Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said in a statement.

“On International Human Rights Day, Treasury is using its tools to expose and hold accountable perpetrators of serious human rights abuse.”

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The North Korean mission at the United Nations and the Washington embassies of China, Myanmar and Bangladesh did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The measures are the latest in a raft of sanctions timed to coincide with Biden’s two-day virtual Summit for Democracy, where he announced initiatives to bolster democracy around the world and support for pro-democracy legislation in the United States.

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Biden said on Friday that commitments made by some of the more than 100 world leaders at the summit would push back against rising autocracy, fight corruption and promote human rights.

“This is going to help seed fertile ground for democracy to bloom around the world,” he said in a speech closing the summit.

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The Treasury on Friday added Chinese artificial intelligence company SenseTime to a list of “Chinese military-industrial complex companies,” accusing it of having developed facial recognition programmes that can determine a target’s ethnicity, with a particular focus on identifying ethnic Uighurs.

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