The human rights-related sanctions, joined in by Canada and the UK, marked Human Rights Day on Friday
The United States on Friday imposed sweeping human rights-related sanctions on dozens of people and entities tied to China, Myanmar, and North Korea.
Canada and the United Kingdom joined the US in imposing sanctions related to human rights abuses in Myanmar.
Read more: US invites 100+ nations for ‘democracy’ summit, leaves out China & Russia
The beginning of new sanctions
Marking Human Rights Day on Friday, the sanctions against North Korea are the first under US President Joe Biden’s administration.
A Chinese artificial intelligence company SenseTime Group was also added to an investment blacklist for allegedly developing facial recognition programs to identify ethnic Uyghurs.
Our actions today, particularly those in partnership with the United Kingdom and Canada, send a message that democracies around the world will act against those who abuse the power of the state to inflict suffering and repression,” Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said.
China’s embassy in Washington denounced the move as a “severe violation of basic norms governing international relations.”
Read more: US House votes to clamp down on imports from China’s Xinjiang
Embassy spokesman Liu Pengyu urged Washington to rescind the decision, saying it would do “grave harm to China-US relations.”
Biden’s Summit for Democracy
The measures coincide with Biden’s Summit for Democracy, where he announced initiatives to bolster democracy around the world.
“This is going to help seed fertile ground for democracy to bloom around the world,” he said in a speech closing the summit.
The US Treasury also blacklisted North Korea’s Central Public Prosecutors Office, along with the People’s Armed Forces Minister Ri Yong Gil.
Read more: US, Israel mock attack Iran’s nuclear sites
It also targeted a Russian university for facilitating the export of workers from North Korea.
Reuters with additional input by GVS