A group member's remark on promoting US-Korean relations referring to the Korean War provoked attacks from Chinese internet users and state media.
The sanctions hit the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, its commander and former political commissar for alleged abuses against Uighur Muslims.
China's ruling Communist Party is accused of mass detentions, forced labor, forced birth control and other abuses against Muslim minorities in the country's Xinjiang region. China denies the allegations.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said a Chinese government-backed think tank has assessed all 50 governors on their attitude toward China and assigned each one a label: “friendly, hard-line or ambiguous.”
With mosques in the region being periodically demolished and fasting mostly banned, minorities in East Turkistan are bearing the brunt of institutionalised xenophobia.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to make changes to the ongoing anti-corruption campaign as well as the party's internal rules in what is expected to be a bid to further consolidate power.
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