On Friday, the US imposed new sanctions on 15 individuals and 10 entities in China, North Korea, Myanmar, and Bangladesh over alleged human rights violations. The Treasury Department said the sanctions were to mark international Human Rights Day, and the measures coincided with the second day of President Biden’s so-called “Summit for Democracy.”
The sanctions against North Korea are significant because they mark the first sanctions against the country of the Biden administration. The sanctions come as South Korea is hoping to sign a peace deal with the North, and the US pressure could impede negotiations.
The China sanctions targeted officials over alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang as well as the Chinese artificial intelligence firm SenseTime. The Treasury Department added SenseTime to an investment blacklist barring Americans from purchasing stock in the company, which could delay the firm’s plans to make an initial public offering on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Canada and the UK joined the US in Myanmar sanctions, which targeted military officials and agencies. The Bangladesh sanctions targeted a law enforcement agency over its role in alleged human rights violations surrounding the country’s war on drugs.
The series of sanctions marks the second time this week that the US targeted several countries with measures over alleged rights violations. On Tuesday, the US hit Iran, Syria, and Uganda. The Iran sanctions came amid negotiations in Vienna to revive the nuclear deal and signaled to Tehran that the US is not serious about restoring the accord.