Johnson and Biden share UK-US concern about Chinese response to sanctions: spokesman

·1 min read
Britain's PM Johnson leaves Downing Street in London

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and U.S. President Joe Biden expressed concern on Friday about the Chinese response to the imposition of sanctions on its officials, and saying Iran had to come back into compliance with the nuclear deal.

On Monday, the United States and Britain together with the European Union and Canada imposed sanctions on Chinese officials over human rights abuses in Xinjiang, the first such coordinated action since Biden became president.

China has responded by imposing sanctions itself on nine Britons, including lawmakers from Johnson's Conservative Party, along with EU lawmakers and other European institutes.

"The prime minister and president reflected on the significant action taken by the UK, U.S. and other international partners earlier this week to impose sanctions on human rights violators in Xinjiang and expressed their concern about retaliatory taken action by China," a spokesman for Johnson said in a statement after the leaders spoke on Friday.

The statement said Biden and Johnson had also agreed there was a need for "Iran to come back into compliance with the nuclear deal" and they shared views on climate change.

"The prime minister and president agreed that combatting climate change will be a crucial component of building back better from the pandemic," the spokesman added.

"They shared their goals for the President’s Climate Change Summit in April and the UK-hosted COP26 Summit in November, including the need to address climate change and preserve biodiversity in tandem."

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Leslie Adler and Grant McCool)