Dec 11, 2021 - Politics & Policy

U.S. sanctions people, entities linked to China, Myanmar and North Korea

Photo of Joe Biden speaking from a podium
President Biden delivers closing remarks during the virtual Summit for Democracy in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Dec. 10. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Biden administration on Friday announced new sanctions on dozens of people and entities with ties to human rights abuses in China, Myanmar, Bangladesh and North Korea.

Why it matters: The move, timed with international Human Rights Day and the State Department's two-day Summit for Democracy, is a tool "to draw attention to and promote accountability for human rights violations and abuses," the department said.

Details: State has barred 12 people from entering the U.S., including current and former Chinese government officials whom the United States says had a hand in the detention of Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

  • Two Bangladeshi law enforcement officers were also named for their involvement in a May 2018 extrajudicial killing of a municipal councilor.
  • The Treasury on Friday designated SenseTime, a Chinese artificial intelligence company, a "Chinese military-industrial complex" entity, accusing it of creating facial recognition programs to identify Uyghurs. The company is now listed on an investment blacklist.
  • Several Myanmar military entities and chief ministers were targeted for their role in a deadly crackdown after the military overthrew the democratically-elected government.
  • Treasury also sanctioned a few agencies controlled by the North Korean government.

What's next: Secretary of State Antony Blinken is traveling to the United Kingdom on Friday where he'll meet with G7 colleagues through Sunday in Liverpool.

  • He will then head to Southeast Asia next week with stops in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
  • In Jakarta, according to a State Department release announcing the travel, he will deliver "remarks on the significance of the Indo-Pacific region" and "in each country, [he] will address the worsening crisis in Burma," also known as Myanmar.
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