U.S. lawmakers to impulse China sanctions over crackdown in Xinjiang
On Wednesday, a legislation demanding a more firm response by the Trump administration over Xinjiang’s crackdown on Uighur Muslims will be introduced by the U.S. lawmakers. It will also include possible sanctions against Communist Party chief and other officials who have been accused of human rights violations.
The bill will supposedly ask President Donald Trump to condemn China’s actions in the region of Xinjiang and appoint a new “special coordinator” for US policy on the issue. The bill also press for a ban on export of U.S. technology that could be used by Beijing in surveillance and mass detention of the minority Uighurs, according to a copy of the measure seen by Reuters.
The lawmakers will also demand the administration to consider human rights-related sanctions against Chen Quanguo, Xinjiang Party Secretary, who is also a member of the politburo, along with other officials, who are “credibly alleged to be responsible” for the security crackdown.
Recently, China’s treatment towards its minority Muslims in Xinjiang has sparked an international outcry, turning Trump’s senior aides more critical towards China.
“Chinese government officials should be held accountable for their complicity in this evil and U.S. businesses should be barred from helping China create a high-tech police state in Xinjiang,” said Republican U.S. Representative Chris Smith, one of the sponsors of the bipartisan legislation that will be presented in both the Senate and House of Representatives.
Imposing China sanctions would surely be a rare move on human rights grounds against the country, especially at a time when the U.S. is already involved in a harsh trade war.
Beijing has urged the U.S. and other countries to stay out of its internal affairs, and has also dismissed all the accusations of abusing minority Muslims in Xinjiang.
However, there was no response from the White House and the Chinese Embassy in Washington on the legislative proposal.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio accused some Chinese officials for “possible crimes against humanity.”
Anonymous U.S. officials have revealed, from the past several months, the Trump administration has been weighing China sanctions against Chinese officials and companies operating in Xinjiang.
The new measures could be imposed under the Global Magnitsky Act that allows U.S. government to hit human rights violators by freezing U.S. assets, imposing U.S. travel bans and prohibiting U.S. citizens from doing any business with them.
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