The U.S. Senate passed a bill to direct President Donald Trump to impose sanctions on Chinese officials over human rights abuses against Muslim Uighur community in northwestern Xinjiang,an action sure to anger Beijing as anti-China sentiment rises in Congress.
The bill, introduced by Republican Senator Marco Rubio, calls for “visa and property-blocking” sanctions against Chinese officials responsible for cracking down on Uighurs and other Muslim groups in the country’s western region of Xinjiang.It is necessary to impose sanctions on President Donald Trump and revoke the visas of any official identified to be responsible for the oppression of Uighurs.
According to the legislation, Trump will report to Congress a list of senior Chinese government officials who are engaged in or responsible for serious human rights violations, and the camp will report to Congress, including those detained in Xinjiang.
Xinjiang’s party secretary Chen Quanguo is also at the top of China’s leadership, and Beijing has warned in the past of retaliation “in proportion” if they were targeted.
There are about 10 million Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang region. The Muslim groups, about 45% of Xinjiang’s population, have long accused Chinese authorities of cultural, religious and economic discrimination.
According to U.S. officials and UN experts several reports, about one million people, or about “7%” of the Muslim population in Xinjiang, have been trapped in an expanded network of “political re-education” camps.
Human Rights Watch accused the Chinese government of behaving a “systematic campaign of human rights violations” against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang, In a report last September.
China is under fire from the United States over its handling of the coronavirus novel, which has infected around 1.5 million people in the country till now and killed more than 85,000.Trump and his administration officials blamed China for the global coronavirus outbreak from Wuhan region, and Republicans are seeking to increase pressure on the Chinese government on several fronts.