The European Union has agreed to impose sanctions against Chinese officials over their involvement in human rights abuses in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
The agreement was reached at an ambassadorial-level meeting of the member states on Wednesday.
EU sources say among the measures to be taken are travel bans into the EU and freezing the assets of Chinese officials alleged to have been involved in serious human rights violations in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
The EU is to make a formal decision at a meeting of foreign ministers on Monday.
The sources say that this is the first set of EU sanctions against Beijing since an arms embargo imposed in 1989 by the former European Community following the Tiananmen Square crackdown.
China's Ambassador to the EU, Zhang Ming, posted comments on Twitter criticizing the decision. It says, "Sanctions are confrontational. We ask the EU side to think twice. If some insist on confrontation, we will not back down."
The lower house of the Netherlands adopted a resolution last month, condemning attacks on ethnic groups in the autonomous region with the intent of destroying them, which it called "genocide."
The European Parliament is urging the EU to take concrete action against what it sees as human rights abuses by the Chinese government.