There are current tensions between the European Union and China because of the sanctions placed by the EU bloc on top ranking Chinese officials and businesses. The European Union placed the restrictions because of the human rights abuses carried out by the Chinese government against Uighur Muslims.
In response to the EU sanctions, China also banned ten top ranking EU officials and four non profits from entering or conducting business deals in China. The Chinese foreign ministry accused the EU of interfering in internal affairs and urged the bloc to reverse the ban.
This is the first serious sanction against China by the EU Bloc
The current EU action against China is its first serious sanction. The last sanction EU placed on China was in 1989, where the EU enacted an arms embargo on the country. China has been accused by several sources of torturing Uighur Muslims living in the country. China has also been accused of running a concentration camp, sterilizing Uighur women, and forcing Uighur Muslims to do manual labor.
In an official statement, the EU listed the offenses of the Chinese government and hit several top Chinese officials and businesses with sanctions. Unlike the US, The EU Bloc avoided placing sanctions on Chen Quanguo, a top Chinese official in the Chinese government.
China denies all the allegations
China has repeatedly denied all the allegations and insists its training Uighur Muslims in new skills and preventing possible terrorist uprising from happening. The country also retaliated by placing restrictions on several EU individuals and businesses.
China is one of the EU's biggest markets. Beijing is also an important market and investor in several European states. Economists and analysts are worried that the new sanctions could destroy the trade relationship between the two countries. Although most EU governments were unified in their decision, Hungary's foreign minister called the sanctions “harmful” and “pointless”.