Recently Mike Rogers et al introduced a bill to sanction senior leaders of CCP, claiming that the Chinese Communist Party must be held accountable for their egregious and disturbing human rights abuse. But in general, will such sanctions really help with the human rights issues in China, or even deepen their autocracy?

Some personal thoughts: An autocracy usually needs an external enemy to fool their people. For example, using their propaganda system, they can owe the failure of government in economy etc., to the imaginary enemies and incite the nationalism among the mass.

When United States try to sanction the officials of China, by banning their travel to U.S. (IMO they are not interested travelling to U.S. regardless of sanctions) and/or freezing their bank accounts, in my opinion Xi Jin-Ping should feel happy, since this will potentially punish some of his political opponents in China, prevent more officials of CCP from being manipulated by foreign powers and thus boost his anti-corruption campaigns, strengthening his dictatorship further.

How do the sanctions on the government officials of China hurt them, or actually help them? Or, as some people criticized, U.S. only wants to make a gesture to show the world that they "care about" the human rights around the world?

  • 2
    We'll probably never find out, because serious sanctions on China would have a severe impact on the US economy, without slowing down the Chinese one much -- as the shortages of past year have already demonstrated in a small scale preview. Moreover, it's a fallacy to assume that the targets can be strategically cherry picked for asymmetrical advantage, when the other party has agency as well, and can return the favor in full.
    – Pete W
    Feb 12, 2022 at 18:07
  • 1. The leaders of China are not autocrats. China has one-party-rule, which is a different thing. 2. Every state with an unequal distribution of power and wealth needs to "fool its people" in some sense, in order to maintain the social order; but at the same time it is rather simplistic IMHO to think that the ruling elites in China need to "fool the people" more than elsewhere. 3. Regardless of the above, it should be mentioned that such unilateral sanctions are illegal.
    – einpoklum
    Feb 12, 2022 at 19:16
  • "will such sanctions really help with the human rights issues in China, or even deepen their autocracy?" Since this is all so hypothetical, the answers might be very speculative. What about asking about similar incidences in the past, if there are any. Otherwise, I guess that the truth is that nobody really knows what would happen with China. Mar 15, 2022 at 21:56

1 Answer 1


The sanctions on china are nothingburgers. Their economy is thriving(in the areas that don't have crippling poverty which are concealed)and honestly they don't need anti-sanction populism to assert their dominance. Xi has good approval and their government is sovereign and stands up to whoever threatens their hegemony. It is sad that such powerful and independent governance that we don't see in liberal democracies is however used for suppression

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .