China denounces EU sanctions over Uighurs

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has denounced EU sanctions over alleged human-rights abuses in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

The EU imposed sanctions on Monday, barring four Chinese officials from traveling to the bloc and freezing their assets there. An entity was also sanctioned.

Wang commented on the measure after meeting his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in the southern Chinese city of Guilin on Tuesday.

He said sanctions based on lies are not acceptable. He said all sensible countries and people should oppose any form of unilateral sanctions and interference in internal affairs.

Lavrov said sanctions against Russia and China are unilateral and illegitimate. He said Russia and China are in the same position in that they cannot accept such measures.

The EU has repeatedly imposed sanctions on Russia, including one over its unilateral annexation of the Ukrainian territory of Crimea seven years ago. The EU also imposed sanctions over the detention of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in January.

In a joint statement, the Chinese and Russian foreign ministers said they oppose politicizing human-rights issues. They also said that interference in internal affairs under the pretext of promoting democracy is unacceptable.

Beijing has announced sanctions on some EU lawmakers and organizations in retaliation.

It also lodged a protest with the EU ambassador to China.