by Ryan King, Breaking News Reporter
November 07, 2022
Switzerland should refrain from following suit with European sanctions against China over human rights concerns pertaining to the Uyghurs, China's ambassador cautioned.
Last year, the European Union imposed its first batch of sanctions on China since the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre over the detention of Uyghurs. Switzerland, which is not a member of the EU bloc, has so far declined to impose similar sanctions, but it has faced mounting pressure to do so.
"Anyone who really cares about the friendly relations between the two countries and who makes responsible policy will not agree to the sanctions," China's ambassador to Switzerland, Wang Shihting, warned, according to Reuters.
"If Switzerland adopts the sanctions and the situation develops in an uncontrolled direction, Sino-Swiss relations will suffer," he continued.
In July, the chief of the agency responsible for sanctions surmised that Switzerland could follow in Europe's footsteps with sanctions.
"I strongly believe that we would adopt such sanctions," State Secretariat for Economic Affairs Director Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch said in an interview, Reuters reported. "Sanctions in the case of China would be far more drastic (than sanctions against Russia) because the economic relations are much more important."
Many Western nations, including members of the EU and the United States, have been outraged by the treatment of the Uyghur minority population in Xinjiang, China, also known as East Turkestan.
Multiple international reports have accused the Chinese government of detaining over 1 million Uyghurs against their will as well as engaging in forced labor and sterilization practices. China has vehemently denied the accusations.