World, Asia - Pacific

China blasts US over bill to protect Uighur rights

Beijing voices opposition to Congress' passage of bill on Xinjiang-related issues and Uighur rights, calls it 'interference'

Islamuddin Sajid   | 04.12.2019
China blasts US over bill to protect Uighur rights


China on Wednesday hit back over a U.S. bill to toughen Washington’s response to human rights violations against ethnic Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang, an autonomous territory in northwest China.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying expressed China's strong opposition to the passage of a bill on Xinjiang-related issues by the U.S. House of Representatives, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported

The U.S.’ Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019 deliberately smears the human rights condition in Xinjiang, slanders China's efforts in de-radicalization and counter-terrorism, and viciously attacks the Chinese government's Xinjiang policy, said Hua.

"We state our position clearly to the U.S. that as Xinjiang is part of China, its affairs are purely domestic affairs that allow no foreign interference," she added.

It also violates international law and norms governing international relations and interferes in China's internal affairs, she added

"We urge the U.S. to correct its mistakes at once, prevent this bill from becoming law, and stop using Xinjiang-related issues to interfere in China's internal affairs. China will take further actions according to how the situation develops," Hua warned.

On Tuesday the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill, meant to pressure Beijing over its actions and crackdown in the Muslim-majority Xinjiang region.

The legislation condemns the detention of more than 1 million Uighurs, Kazakhs and other minorities in “reeducation” camps and accuses China of “systematically discriminating" against Uighurs by denying them civil and political rights, including freedom of expression, religion, movement, and a fair trial.

It would require the State Department to evaluate whether Chinese officials would meet the criteria for sanctions for their roles in the crackdown in the Xinjiang region.

The bill still needs passage by the Senate and the president’s signature to become law.

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