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This is the first time the EU slaps sanctions on Beijing since the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.

European Union foreign ministers formally agreed on Monday to blacklist Chinese officials for human rights abuses, one EU diplomat said, the first sanctions against Beijing since an EU arms embargo in 1989 following the Tiananmen Square crackdown.

The ministers approved the travel bans and asset freezes on four Chinese individuals and one entity, whose names will be made public later on Monday, accusing them of rights abuses against China's Uighur Muslim minority in Xinjiang.