China announces sanctions on Canadians, including MP Michael Chong
'I'll wear it as a badge of honour,' Chong says in response to sanctions
China on Saturday announced sanctions on individuals and entities in Canada and the United States in response to sanctions imposed on Chinese citizens and groups over conditions in Xinjiang.
China sanctioned MP Michael Chong, who is also the Conservative Party's foreign affairs critic. Sanctions were also placed on the House of Commons subcommittee on international human rights, which concluded in October that China's treatment of its Uyghur population amounts to genocide.
"The individuals concerned are prohibited from entering the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao of China, and Chinese citizens and institutions are prohibited from doing business with the relevant individuals and having exchanges with the relevant entity," the ministry wrote.
China will also impose sanctions on the chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), Gayle Manchin, and the vice-chair, Tony Perkins, the Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement.
Canada joined the U.S., United Kingdom and European Union this week in imposing sanctions on four Chinese officials suspected of being responsible for the persecution of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang province.
Beijing has pushed back against the sanctions, stating they are "based on rumours and disinformation."
WATCH | Conservative MP Michael Chong on China's sanctions:
China's response strengthens Canada's position: Chong
Responding to the news on Twitter, Chong said Canada has a "duty to call out China."
"If that means China sanctions me, I'll wear it as a badge of honour," he said.
We’ve got a duty to call out China for its crackdown in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HongKong?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HongKong</a> & its genocide of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Uyghurs?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Uyghurs</a>.<br><br>We who live freely in democracies under the rule of law must speak for the voiceless.<br><br>If that means China sanctions me, I’ll wear it as a badge of honour. <a href="https://t.co/tS8MomWnun">pic.twitter.com/tS8MomWnun</a>—@MichaelChongMP
Chong told CBC News that China's response serves to strengthen Canada's position.
"They've drawn attention to the plight of the Uyghur people, they've drawn attention to China's illegal crackdown in Hong Kong," he said. "So these sanctions ... will further rally the global community in taking a stand against these violations."
The Ontario MP said he didn't believe the measures would inhibit his parliamentary work and called for Canada to expand its own sanctions against China.
"I think the sanctions should be expanded to include officials who are responsible for the crackdown in Hong Kong and the violation of the 1984 joint declaration. I also think that new, more effective measures need to be introduced by the government to ban the import of products from China that have been produced using forced labour." he said.
Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole said he was "proud of the work by MPs of all parties" in calling attention to the persecution of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.
The Canadian MPs sanctioned by the Chinese Communist Party have used the freedom we enjoy as Canadians to call the world’s attention to the genocide against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. I am proud of the work by MPs of all parties.—@erinotoole
"China's sanctions against Canadian parliamentarians and democratic institutions are unacceptable and an attack on transparency and freedom of expression," Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau said in a media statement on Saturday.
"The Government of Canada stands with parliamentarians and all Canadians as we continue to work with partners in defence of democracy and freedom of speech and will continue to take action when international human rights obligations are violated. We need to stand together to remind those who violate human and democratic rights that the world is watching."
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said his country stands with Canada and other nations calling for China to end its human rights violations.
"Beijing's attempts to intimidate and silence those speaking out for human rights and fundamental freedoms only contribute to the growing international scrutiny of the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang," Blinken said in a media statement, in which he also condemned the sanctions placed on the United States.
Ottawa urged to stop making payments to bank
The Conservatives this week called on the federal Liberal government to stop making payments to the Asian Infrastructure Bank in light of the ongoing detention and lack of transparency around the trials of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor in China.
Chong said earlier this week that it's unacceptable that Canada would send about $40 million US to the China-led agency.
Activists and United Nations rights experts say at least a million Muslims have been detained in camps in Xinjiang. The activists and some Western politicians accuse China of using torture, forced labour and sterilizations.
China has repeatedly denied all accusations of abuse and says its camps offer vocational training and are needed to fight extremism.
With files from CBC News