US Congress condemns China for crackdown on ethnic Muslims


On Nov. 27, President Trump signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, sponsored by Rubio, which provided for sanctions of human rights abusers in the region.

The House of Representatives voted 407-1 to approve the Uighur Human Rights Policy Act, which has already passed the Senate.

China reacted angrily to the bill, which is similar to a measure that was passed by the Senate in September. The White House has not made clear whether the president would support the measure.

It also calls for Trump to impose sanctions against the senior Chinese officials responsible for the abuses, specifically naming Xinjiang Communist Party Secretary Chen Quanguo, who is part of China's powerful Politburo.

The US Embassy in Beijing declined to comment.

"As with the Hong Kong Democracy and Human Rights Act, we are sending a simple but powerful message to the Communist Party: power can not be maintained at the expense of the rights of the people without substantial consequences", he said.

Recently leaked Chinese Communist party documents have also undermined the denials. At least 1 million Uyghurs and other Muslims have been estimated to be detained in internment camps.

The Department of State shall report on the scope of the reported crackdown in Xinjiang, including the number of detained individuals, the use of forced labour in the region, an assessment of government surveillance in the province, and U.S. diplomatic efforts to address the crackdown.

Analysts believe the country's reaction to the Uyghur bill could be stronger, but some doubt it would go as far as imposing visa bans on the likes of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who called China's treatment of the minority group "the stain of the century".

The United States Congress is ready to give President Donald Trump a second chance in less than a month to anger the Chinese government and attack its human rights record, while trying to reach a long-sought trade agreement with Beijing.

This was stated by the Ambassador of China in New Delhi.

"The U.S. attempts to sow discord among various ethnic groups in China. and contain China's growth", Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for China's Foreign Ministry, said in a statement.

Vice Foreign Minister Qin Gang made "stern representations" to William Klein, the U.S. embassy's minister counselor for political affairs, and urged the USA to stop interfering in China's domestic affairs, state TV reported.

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Victor Shih, an associate professor of China and Pacific Relations at the University of California, San Diego, said mass surveillance was big business in China and a number of tech companies there could be hurt by the law if it passes.

From the US side, lawmakers and human rights activists have welcomed the bill, saying it progressed the cause of tackling human rights violations in China.

But China warns of a "propaganda war" led by the United States to use human rights as a tool to interfere in the country's domestic affairs.

"We are grateful to both the Senate and the House for demonstrating strong bipartisan cooperation in addressing the agony of the Uyghurs", said UHRP Executive Director Omer Kanat.

"This legislation takes the next step", said Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) during the floor debate.

"We can not be silent".

"Its intention is to sabotage the stability of Xinjiang and curb the development of China", it said.

The US House of Representatives has passed a bill to counter what it calls the "arbitrary detention, torture, and harassment" of Uighur Muslims in China.

"The Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council is carrying out the exclusion of some soybeans, pork and other commodities based on applications from enterprises", the finance ministry said today in a statement.

A policeman standing guard as Muslims arrive for the Eid al-Fitr morning prayer at the Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar in Xinjiang, China, on June 26, 2017.

The legislation adds to tensions between the two superpowers just as they are locked in negotiations to finalize a "phase one" deal to resolve their protracted trade war.

When asked whether the bill's passage would affect U.S.

Ms. Hua declined to elaborate on the retaliation except to say it would affect bilateral cooperation, but a Tuesday tweet by Hu Xijin, editor of state-run tabloid the Global Times, said visa restrictions on certain US officials and a ban on entry into Xinjiang by holders of USA diplomatic passport holders were being considered.