US House passes Uygur law demanding sanctions on China over human rights abuses in Xinjiang
Congress approves sanctions against China over treatment of ethnic minorities
President Trump has previously promised to scrutinize this legislative initiative
Congress voted to toughen the U.S. response to China’s brutal repression of ethnic minorities, adding another factor of tension to an already uneasy relationship between the two countries..
The House of Representatives approved a bipartisan bill to sanction Chinese authorities involved in the mass surveillance and detention of Uighurs and other ethnic groups in Xinjiang, western China, a campaign that has received a low-key international response due to Beijing’s influence around the world.
The initiative has already been approved by the Senate and is now forwarded for signature to President Donald Trump, who said this week that he will review it “very carefully” amid US outrage over China’s response to the coronavirus outbreak and tensions over China’s plan to curtail civil liberties in hong kong.
Both themes added to other sore spots in Sino-US relations, while Republican and Democratic lawmakers advocated for the bill. It was adopted with 413 votes in favor and one against..
“Beijing’s barbaric actions against the Uyghur people are an affront to the collective conscience of the entire world,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in support of the bill..
Republican Congressman Michael McCall, chairman of the working group on China, called what is happening in Xinjiang a “cultural genocide” of Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups.
It was the first bill in history to be approved through a proxy vote after Democratic congressmen, despite Republican objections, supported such a possibility in response to the coronavirus epidemic..
Late last year, Congress condemned the crackdown in Xinjiang, where the Chinese authorities placed more than a million people from predominantly Muslim ethnic groups, including Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and Kyrgyz, into an extensive network of detention centers..
The new bill called for increased pressure through the imposition of sanctions against specific Chinese officials, including the Communist Party functionary overseeing government policy in Xinjiang.
The bill also requires the US government to report human rights abuses in Xinjiang to Congress, as well as China’s acquisition of technology used for mass detention and surveillance..
It also includes an analysis of numerous reports of harassment and threats against Uighurs and other Chinese citizens in the United States..