AFTER JOE BIDEN won America’s presidential election last November, some policy wonks speculated that he would overhaul his country’s ever-growing reliance on sanctions as a tool of foreign policy. Those who predicted a roll-back, or just a long pause while the new administration reflected on its options, have been set straight. True, America is contemplating gradual sanctions-relief for Iran. But it has continued to swing a stick at even bigger adversaries. Last month, in concert with other Western countries, it took aim at China, imposing travel bans and asset freezes on several Chinese officials in connection with China’s treatment of the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang province. And on April 15th America’s Treasury Department, which oversees its sanctions programmes, announced sweeping sanctions against Russia.
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