EU-China ties; Germany Easter lockdown; UK travel law

In today's episode, we will examine the EU-China relationship in light of fresh sanctions against Beijing for its treatment of Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang region, look at Germany’s new lockdown announcement as the country prepares for easter festivities and discuss a new UK law preventing citizens from travelling abroad.
Today on The Leaders' Brief -
  • The European Union and the United Kingdom joined Canada and USA in sanctioning several Chinese officials to send “a clear message about the human rights violations and abuses in Xinjiang”. The blacklisted officials include Zhu Hailun, Wang Junzheng, Wang Mingshan and Chen Mingguo, all having worked or presently working for the Chinese government in the Xinjiang region. The state-run Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps have also been targeted by the new sanctions.The situation in Xinjiang has united all Western forces to act against what they believe are systematic human rights abuses by Beijing. 

  • The German government, after being heavily criticised for its slow vaccine rollout, has decided to extend lockdown measures for another four weeks, dampening Easter enthusiasm in the country. Germany has seen a steady rise in the number of COVID infections after it began relaxing lockdown measures before the beginning of this month. German authorities had planned to gradually allow businesses, including restaurants and gyms to reopen. The decision was presumably taken to counter growing resentment against the country's strict lockdown measures. 

  • The United Kingdom is planning to introduce fines of up to $7,000 for people planning to travel outside the country before June. The earliest date by which the country would allow international travel is the 17th May, the country's health minister Matt Hannock told British Media. Travel for essential reasons such as work or education will be addressed by the Global Travel Taskforce.The development comes as a severe setback for the country’s airline industry which has suffered record losses due to last year’s pandemic. 

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