China’s lack of regard for human rights is widely known. The communist administration has faced accusations of severe abuses against its citizens for many years. In recent times, the country has also been accused of engaging in a genocide against the Uyghur minorities in the Xinjiang region.
The Chinese Communist Party is accused of demolishing their religious structures, compelling them into labor camps, and involuntarily subjecting them to sterilization, among other allegations.
The Chinese government has imposed sanctions on a U.S.-based research company and other individuals who have extensively documented the human rights abuses in the Asian nation.
On December 26, Mao Ning, the spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, declared sanctions against Kharon, a Los Angeles-based company. Kharon, founded by former Treasury Department officials, gathers information on reported forced labor in the Xinjiang region, where the Uyghurs reside. The firm assists companies by providing data and aiding them in compliance with U.S. laws.
Mao further disclosed sanctions against Edmund Xu, the Director of Investigations at Kharon, and Nicole Morgret, a human rights analyst associated with the Center for Advanced Defense Studies. Both Xu and Morgret are now barred from traveling to China, and the government is taking action to confiscate any property or assets they may possess in the country.
The spokesperson from the Foreign Ministry stated that the sanctions were in response to an annual report by the U.S. government on human rights abuses in China. He asserted that Xu was supplying what he referred to as evidence for the United States’ unlawful sanctions concerning Xinjiang.
In a statement posted on its website, the staff at Kharon acknowledged that the Chinese government had imposed sanctions on the company and frozen its assets. The firm clarified that it had no initial presence in China, rendering the frozen assets inconsequential.
The company highlighted that China has imposed sanctions on numerous other U.S. “businesses, individuals, and organizations” over the past several years. Nevertheless, the firm remains committed to its objective of gathering information to assist companies in complying with the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA).
Goods from Xinjiang are barred from entering the United States under U.S. law unless there is proof that they were not produced through forced labor in the region. The U.S. government is one of the entities accusing China of engaging in genocide.
This marks the company’s second instance of facing sanctions from a foreign government. In April 2022, Iran imposed sanctions on the firm, along with several U.S. officials, alleging involvement in “terrorism.”