The United States imposed human rights sanctions on a Chinese company on Friday, targeting the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, also known as XPCC, along with two individuals, according to the Treasury Department’s website.
The Treasury identified the company as a paramilitary organization in the Xinjiang region that is subordinate to the Chinese Communist Party and “enhances internal control over the region by advancing China’s vision of economic development.”
Washington’s action freezes any US assets of the company and officials and generally prohibits Americans from dealing with them. The Treasury also issued a license on Friday, authorizing certain wind down and divestment transactions and activities related to blocked subsidiaries of the XPCC until September 30.
The Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps is a quasi-military group created in 1954 and initially made up of demobilized soldiers, who spent part of their time in military training and the rest turning the region’s arid land into farms.
Experts have said the group is like a “state within a state” and has established new cities in the region with schools and universities and jurisdiction over police and courts.
China denies that Uighurs are unfairly marginalized, and says it is addressing underdevelopment and lack of jobs in heavily Uighur areas.