UN rapporteur calls for end to sanctions on China

UN rapporteur calls for end to sanctions on China

Alena Douhan concludes China visit, points out 'multifaceted negative' impact of such restrictions on jobs, academic cooperation with US, European institutions

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ISTANBUL (AA) – A UN special rapporteur Friday demanded an end to sanctions on China, pointing out the “multifaceted negative” impact of such restrictions, including on jobs and Chinese students as well as education and academic cooperation with US and European institutions.

“China represents a particular case with regards to the impact of unilateral sanctions and means of their enforcement, given its strong and diverse economy and its growing global economic outreach,” said Alena Douhan.

Douhan is the UN special rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures and human rights and she concluded her 12-day official visit to the world’s second-largest economy on Friday. She will present China's report to the Human Rights Council later this year in September.

“Decline in business activities and the significant loss of global markets either due to unilateral sanctions per se or due to over-compliance with such measures by foreign businesses and entities have led to job losses, with consequent disruptions in social protection schemes, by disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable, particularly in labor-intensive sectors, including women, older persons, and all those in informal employment,” said Douhan.

During her trip to China, Douhan met representatives from national and local government institutions, non-governmental organizations, associations, humanitarian actors, businesses, UN entities, academia, businesses, as well as the diplomatic community, said a statement by the UN Human Rights Office.

Besides the capital Beijing, she visited Urumqi, Shihezi, Changji, Hotan, and Shenzhen cities.

- Extraterritorial sanctions by states illegal

In her statement, Douhan referred to unilateral sanctions as well as export controls, designation of companies’ officials and the launch of administrative and civil charges against China by states, including the US.

It added more sanctions and restrictions were imposed on China, related to and in connection with Xinjiang and Hong Kong.

China's northwestern Xinjiang autonomous region is home to 10 million Uyghurs, as the Turkic Muslim group makes up 45% of Xinjiang’s population. It has long accused China of cultural and religious discrimination, a claim rejected by Chinese officials.

However, Douhan said: “Xinjiang is particularly affected, with key economic sectors and cross-border and international supply chains being disrupted for fear of primary or secondary sanctions for alleged commercial or production ties with this region.”

“Access to justice and the fundamental principles of due process and the presumption of innocence are also seriously undermined by the listing and de-listing procedures, based on the rebuttable presumption of the wrongfulness of everything with any nexus to Xinjiang or designated companies,” Douhan said.

Reiterating the “illegality of extraterritorial application of unilateral sanctions,” the Un rapporteur called on the sanctioning states “to effectively address over-compliance of businesses and other entities under their jurisdiction in order to mitigate or completely eliminate any adverse humanitarian impact.”

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