HUMAN RIGHTS

Treasury Sanctions Chinese Entity and Officials Pursuant to Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act

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Washington – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanc­tioned one Chinese gov­ern­ment enti­ty and four cur­rent or for­mer gov­ern­ment offi­cials in con­nec­tion with seri­ous rights abus­es against eth­nic minori­ties in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). These des­ig­na­tions include Chen Quanguo, the Communist Party Secretary of XUAR, and Zhu Hailun, a for­mer Deputy Party Secretary of the XUAR. Also des­ig­nat­ed today is the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau (XPSB), as well as the cur­rent Director and Communist Party Secretary of the XPSB, Wang Mingshan, and the for­mer Party Secretary of the XPSB, Huo Liujun. The enti­ty and offi­cials are being des­ig­nat­ed for their con­nec­tion to seri­ous human rights abuse against eth­nic minori­ties in Xinjiang, which report­ed­ly include mass arbi­trary deten­tion and severe phys­i­cal abuse, among oth­er seri­ous abus­es tar­get­ing Uyghurs, a Turkic Muslim pop­u­la­tion indige­nous to Xinjiang, and oth­er eth­nic minori­ties in the region. 

The United States is com­mit­ted to using the full breadth of its finan­cial pow­ers to hold human rights abusers account­able in Xinjiang and across the world,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.

This action is being tak­en pur­suant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, “Blocking the Property of Persons Involved in Serious Human Rights Abuse or Corruption,” which builds upon and imple­ments the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act. 

These des­ig­na­tions are the lat­est U.S. gov­ern­ment actions in an ongo­ing effort to deter human rights abus­es in the Xinjiang region. On July 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of State, along with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, issued the Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory, advis­ing busi­ness­es with poten­tial sup­ply chain expo­sure to Xinjiang to con­sid­er the rep­u­ta­tion­al, eco­nom­ic, and legal risks of involve­ment with enti­ties that engage in human rights abus­es in Xinjiang, such as forced labor. On May 22, 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce added nine PRC enti­ties relat­ed to human rights abus­es in the Xinjiang region to the Commerce Entity List; this action com­ple­ment­ed the October 2019 addi­tion to the Commerce Entity List of 28 enti­ties engaged in the PRC repres­sion cam­paign in the Xinjiang region. Also, in October 2019, the U.S. Department of State announced a visa restric­tion pol­i­cy under sec­tion 212 (a)(3)© of the Immigration and Nationality Act for PRC and Chinese Communist Party (CCP) offi­cials respon­si­ble for, or com­plic­it in, human rights abus­es in Xinjiang.

CHEN QUANGUO AND ZHU HAILUN 

The Xinjiang region in west­ern China is home to Uyghurs, eth­nic Kazakhs, eth­nic Kyrgyz, and oth­er tra­di­tion­al­ly Muslim minor­i­ty groups. XUAR is the region­al gov­ern­ment of Xinjiang and falls under the gov­er­nance of the PRC. Chen Quanguo (Chen) is the Party Secretary of the XUAR, a posi­tion he was appoint­ed to in 2016, fol­low­ing Chen’s noto­ri­ous his­to­ry of inten­si­fy­ing secu­ri­ty oper­a­tions in the Tibetan Autonomous Region to tight­en con­trol over the Tibetan eth­nic minori­ties. While Chen was already known for his abil­i­ty to con­trol “eth­nic unrest,” when he got to Xinjiang, he had a deputy who under­stood the Xinjiang region, Zhu Hailun (Zhu), who for the past few decades had held sev­er­al posi­tions in the Chinese Communist Party, pri­or to hold­ing the posi­tion of Party Secretary of the Xinjiang Political and Legal Committee (XPLC) from 2016 to 2019. In this role, Zhu was respon­si­ble for main­tain­ing inter­nal secu­ri­ty and law enforce­ment in the XUAR; while Zhu left this role in 2019, he still cur­rent­ly serves as the Deputy Secretary of Xinjiang’s People’s Congress, a region­al leg­isla­tive body. Following his arrival to the region, Chen began imple­ment­ing a com­pre­hen­sive sur­veil­lance, deten­tion, and indoc­tri­na­tion pro­gram in Xinjiang, tar­get­ing Uyghurs and oth­er eth­nic minori­ties through the XPSB. 

As a part of Chen’s plans, the large-scale con­struc­tion of mass deten­tion camps, labelled “train­ing cen­ters,” great­ly esca­lat­ed in 2017, and as the Party Secretary of the XPLC, Zhu estab­lished the poli­cies and pro­ce­dures for man­ag­ing these deten­tion camps with the pur­port­ed goal of using the camps to fight ter­ror­ism and main­tain sta­bil­i­ty. Zhu’s poli­cies out­lined how the deten­tion camps would oper­ate, to include not allow­ing “escapes” and “abnor­mal deaths.” At the same time, for­mer detainees of these deten­tion camps report that deaths occurred among fel­low detainees after tor­ture and abuse at the hands of the secu­ri­ty offi­cials. A large focus of these deten­tion camps was con­stant sur­veil­lance, even while detainees remain total­ly cut off from the out­side world. 

Chen is being des­ig­nat­ed for being a for­eign per­son who is or has been a leader or offi­cial of an enti­ty, includ­ing any gov­ern­ment enti­ty, that has engaged in, or whose mem­bers have engaged in seri­ous human rights abuse relat­ing to the leader’s or official’s tenure, and Zhu is being des­ig­nat­ed for being a for­eign per­son who is respon­si­ble for or com­plic­it in, or has direct­ly or indi­rect­ly engaged in, seri­ous human rights abuse.

REPRESSION IN THE XUAR: XINJIANG PUBLIC SECURITY BUREAU, HUO LIUJUN, AND WANG MINGSHAN

Since at least late 2016, repres­sive tac­tics have been used by the XPSB against the Uyghurs and mem­bers of oth­er eth­nic minor­i­ty groups in the region, includ­ing mass deten­tions and sur­veil­lance. The PRC’s sur­veil­lance has tar­get­ed mem­bers of reli­gious and eth­nic minor­i­ty groups, as the Chinese gov­ern­ment treats almost all expres­sions of faith as a sign of reli­gious “extrem­ism” or eth­nic sep­a­ratism. Targets of this sur­veil­lance are often detained and report­ed­ly sub­ject­ed to var­i­ous meth­ods of tor­ture and “polit­i­cal reed­u­ca­tion.” According to press report­ing, since at least 2017, more than one mil­lion Muslims have been held in these camps.

Under the com­mand of Huo Liujun (Huo), leader of the XPSB from at least March 2017 to 2018, and Wang Mingshan (Wang), leader of the XPSB since at least May 2018, the XPSB has deployed the “Integrated Joint Operations Platform” (IJOP), an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-assisted com­put­er sys­tem that cre­at­ed bio­met­ric records for mil­lions of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region. The XPSB, through the IJOP, uses dig­i­tal sur­veil­lance sys­tems to track Uyghurs’ move­ments and activ­i­ties, to include sur­veilling who they inter­act with and what they read. In turn, IJOP uses this data to deter­mine which per­sons could be poten­tial threats; accord­ing to reports, some of these indi­vid­u­als are sub­se­quent­ly detained and sent to deten­tion camps, being held indef­i­nite­ly with­out charges or tri­al. The IJOP AI plat­form is one of the first exam­ples of gov­ern­ments using AI for racial pro­fil­ing. According to press report­ing, the IJOP tech­nol­o­gy looks exclu­sive­ly for Uyghurs, based on their appear­ance, and keeps records of their move­ments. The mass deten­tion of Uyghurs is part of an effort by PRC author­i­ties to use deten­tions and data-dri­ven sur­veil­lance to cre­ate a police state in the Xinjiang region. 

The XPSB is being des­ig­nat­ed for being a for­eign per­son respon­si­ble for, or com­plic­it in, or that has direct­ly or indi­rect­ly engaged in, seri­ous human rights abuse. Huo and Wang are each being des­ig­nat­ed for being a for­eign per­son who is or has been a leader or offi­cial of an enti­ty whose prop­er­ty and inter­ests in prop­er­ty are blocked pur­suant to E.O. 13818 as a result of activ­i­ties relat­ed to the lead­ers’ or offi­cials’ tenure. 

SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS

As a result of today’s action, all prop­er­ty and inter­ests in prop­er­ty of the enti­ty and indi­vid­u­als named above, and of any enti­ties that are owned, direct­ly or indi­rect­ly, 50 per­cent or more by them, indi­vid­u­al­ly, or with oth­er blocked per­sons, that are in the United States or in the pos­ses­sion or con­trol of U.S. per­sons, are blocked and must be report­ed to OFAC. Unless autho­rized by a gen­er­al or spe­cif­ic license issued by OFAC or oth­er­wise exempt, OFAC’s reg­u­la­tions gen­er­al­ly pro­hib­it all trans­ac­tions by U.S. per­sons or with­in (or tran­sit­ing) the United States that involve any prop­er­ty or inter­ests in prop­er­ty of des­ig­nat­ed or oth­er­wise blocked per­sons. The pro­hi­bi­tions include the mak­ing of any con­tri­bu­tion or pro­vi­sion of funds, goods, or ser­vices by, to, or for the ben­e­fit of any blocked per­son or the receipt of any con­tri­bu­tion or pro­vi­sion of funds, goods or ser­vices from any such per­son. 

GLOBAL MAGNITSKY

Building upon the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, the President signed E.O. 13818 on December 20, 2017, in which the President found that the preva­lence of human rights abuse and cor­rup­tion that have their source, in whole or in sub­stan­tial part, out­side the United States, had reached such scope and grav­i­ty that it threat­ens the sta­bil­i­ty of inter­na­tion­al polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic sys­tems. Human rights abuse and cor­rup­tion under­mine the val­ues that form an essen­tial foun­da­tion of sta­ble, secure, and func­tion­ing soci­eties; have dev­as­tat­ing impacts on indi­vid­u­als; weak­en demo­c­ra­t­ic insti­tu­tions; degrade the rule of law; per­pet­u­ate vio­lent con­flicts; facil­i­tate the activ­i­ties of dan­ger­ous per­sons; and under­mine eco­nom­ic mar­kets. The United States seeks to impose tan­gi­ble and sig­nif­i­cant con­se­quences on those who com­mit seri­ous human rights abuse or engage in cor­rup­tion, as well as to pro­tect the finan­cial sys­tem of the United States from abuse by these same per­sons. 

Information on the indi­vid­u­als and enti­ties des­ig­nat­ed today.

Information about the Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory.

Information about the Commerce Entity List.

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