One Big Thing: Is a sanction-war with China beneficial for the United States?
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What is it?
- Earlier this week, China imposed sanctions on 11 Americans in retaliation for U.S. sanctions due to the protests Hong Kong. Amongst those sanctioned were Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and high-profile individuals from non-profit organizations and human rights groups including Freedom House, the National Endowment for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute.
- In July, China sanctioned Senators Cruz and Rubio after they passed legislation which sanctioned Chinese officials their oppression of Uighurs in Xinjiang.
Why is it important?
- The sanctions against the 11 American citizens are largely symbolic and China has yet to attach definite punishments to these sanctions. Along with the tit-for-tat nature of the sanctions, this is indicative of a sanction-war brewing between China and the U.S.
- These sanctions are part of an effort by the Chinese government to distract from their oppression of Hong Kong and Uighurs. It is important to continue to focus our efforts on supporting these communities.
- China’s choice to punish specific individuals associated with U.S. nongovernmental organizations falls in line with China’s broader strategy to silence critical voices and news outlets at home and around the world.
What can you do?
- Read statements from some of the sanctioned organizations:
- “I Was Sanctioned by China” by Freedom House President Mike Abramowitz
- The National Endowment for Democracy’s statement
- The International Republican Institute’s statement
- The National Democratic Institute’s statement
- Learn more about the Global Magnitsky Act which can be used to sanction human rights abusers around the world.
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