Chinese and American flags outside the building of an American company in Beijing, China January 21, 2021.

Tingshu Wang | Reuterss

WASHINGTON – The Biden government on Monday sanctioned two Chinese officials for their role in serious human rights violations against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.

China’s Wang Junzheng, secretary of the Xinjiang Manufacturing and Construction Corps Party Committee, and Chen Mingguo, director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau, have been punished against Uyghurs for their links to “arbitrary detention and aggravated physical abuse, including serious human rights violations,” said the Treasury Department in a statement on Monday.

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Beijing previously denied US allegations that it committed genocide against the Uyghurs, a Muslim population native to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwest China.

China has also said the allegations of the use of detention centers are unfounded and that it is instead using vocational training facilities to stamp out Islamist extremism and separatism.

The sanctions imposed by the Biden government complement measures taken today by the European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada.

The sanctions follow a dispute between Foreign Minister Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan as well as top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi and State Councilor Wang Yi in Alaska.

Blinken has already accused China of coercion and aggression at home and in the region.

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