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U.S. House approves Uighur bill demanding sanctions on senior Chinese officials

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U.S. House approves Uighur bill demanding sanctions on senior Chinese officials

By David Brunnstrom, Patricia Zengerle and Matt Spetalnick

 

2019-12-04T021709Z_1_LYNXMPEFB303F_RTROPTP_4_ARMY-GAMES-CHINA.JPG

Chinese soldiers of People's Liberation Army (PLA) march during the opening ceremony of four contests hosted by China as part of International Army Games 2019 in Korla, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China August 3, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer/Files

 

WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a bill that would require the Trump administration to toughen its response to China's crackdown on its Muslim minority, drawing swift condemnation from Beijing.

 

The Uighur Act of 2019 is a stronger version of a bill that angered Beijing when it passed the Senate in September. It calls on President Donald Trump to impose sanctions for the first time on a member of China's powerful politburo, even as he seeks a deal with Beijing to end a trade war buffeting the global economy.

 

Just last week, Trump signed into law legislation supporting anti-government protesters in Hong Kong despite angry objections from China.

 

The Uighur bill, which passed by 407-1 in the Democratic-controlled House, requires the U.S. president to condemn abuses against Muslims and call for the closure of mass detention camps in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.

 

It calls for sanctions against senior Chinese officials who it says are responsible and specifically names Xinjiang Communist Party Secretary Chen Quanguo, who, as a politburo member, is in the upper echelons of China's leadership.

 

The revised bill still has to be approved by the Republican-controlled Senate before being sent to Trump. The White House has yet to say whether Trump would sign or veto the bill, which contains a provision allowing the president to waive sanctions if he determines that to be in the national interest.

 

In a statement on Wednesday, China's Foreign Ministry called the bill a malicious attack against China and a serious interference in the country's internal affairs.

 

"We urge the U.S. to immediately correct its mistake, to stop the above bill on Xinjiang from becoming law, to stop using Xinjiang as a way to interfere in China's domestic affairs," said the statement, attributed to the ministry's spokeswoman, Hua Chunying.

 

China has consistently denied any mistreatment of Uighurs and says the camps are providing vocational training. It has warned of retaliation "in proportion" if Chen were targeted.

 

The White House and the Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

 

China responded on Monday to the Hong Kong legislation by saying U.S. military ships and aircraft would not be allowed to visit Hong Kong, and announced sanctions against several U.S. non-government organizations.

 

Analysts say China's reaction to passage of the Uighur bill could be stronger, although some doubted it would go so far as imposing visa bans on the likes of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has called China's treatment of Uighurs "the stain of the century" and has been repeatedly denounced by Beijing.

 

Global Times, a tabloid published by the official People's Daily newspaper of China's ruling Communist Party, tweeted on Tuesday that Beijing would soon release a so-called unreliable entities list imposing sanctions against those who harm China's interests.

 

It reported that China was expediting the process for the list because the U.S. House bill would "harm Chinese firms' interests", and that "relevant" U.S. entities would be part of Beijing's list.

 

'MODERN-DAY CONCENTRATION CAMPS'

Republican U.S. Representative Chris Smith called China's actions in "modern-day concentration camps" in Xinjiang "audaciously repressive," involving "mass internment of millions on a scale not seen since the Holocaust."

 

"We cannot be silent. We must demand an end to these barbaric practices," Smith said, adding that Chinese officials must be held accountable for "crimes against humanity."

 

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called China's treatment of the Uighurs "an outrage to the collective conscience of the world," adding that "America is watching."

 

Chris Johnson, a China expert at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies, said passage of the bill could lead to a further blurring of lines between the trade issue and the broader deteriorating China-U.S. relationship, which Beijing in the past has tended to keep separate.

 

"I think there's a sort of piling-on factor here that the Chinese are concerned about," he said.

 

Trump said on Monday the Hong Kong legislation did not make trade negotiations with China easier, but he still believed Beijing wanted a deal.

He said on Tuesday, however, that an agreement might have to wait until after the November 2020 U.S. presidential election in which he is seeking a second term.

 

Johnson said he did not think passage of the Uighur act would cause the delay, but added: "It would be another dousing of kindling with fuel."

 

The House bill requires the president to submit to Congress within 120 days a list of officials responsible for the abuses and to impose sanctions on them under the Global Magnitsky Act, which provides for visa bans and asset freezes.

 

The bill also requires the secretary of state to submit a report on abuses in Xinjiang, to include assessments of the numbers held in re-education and forced labor camps. United Nations experts and activists say at least 1 million Uighurs and members of other largely Muslim minority groups have been detained in the camps.

 

It also effectively bans the export to China of items that can be used for surveillance of individuals, including facial and voice-recognition technology.

 

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom, Patricia Zengerle and Matt Spetalnick in Washington and Se Young Lee and Huizhong Wu in Beijing; Editing by Tom Brown and Peter Cooney)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-12-04

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Lets see what a mess Donny makes of this. he announced on news that the great China trade deal that was soon will now be after the 2020 election???

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amazing, appeasers playing the minority card for sharia law members in China.
sharia law lets off a jihad bomb in Tiananmen Square killing Chinese nationals then cries foul when china reacts.

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41 minutes ago, wombat said:

amazing, appeasers playing the minority card for sharia law members in China.
sharia law lets off a jihad bomb in Tiananmen Square killing Chinese nationals then cries foul when china reacts.

Um, just because they are Muslim, does not make them terrorists. I mean, in the USA, white, self proclaimed Christians make up the majority of domestic terrorist cases, but we don't blame all white Christians.....

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EU continues hawkishness on the US and levies taxes on US tech while shoring up cheap goods trade from organ-harvesting, concentration camp loving Beijing.

 

Germany creates energy dependence on Russian gas while underpaying its NATO commitments, whose foremost antagonist is Russia.

 

Macron screams his lungs are burning when Brazilian Amazon fires heat up weeks after EU signs a free trade deal with Mercosur. (Brazil is the world's largest producer of meat.) If more land is needed for livestock and crops, where is it gonna come from, maybe the rainforest?

 

US takes stance on Hong Kong and Uighur concentration camps. Where is the EU? What happened to German guilt? Shameless.

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2 hours ago, wombat said:

amazing, appeasers playing the minority card for sharia law members in China.
sharia law lets off a jihad bomb in Tiananmen Square killing Chinese nationals then cries foul when china reacts.

Yes.  I was there when they were running amok in the streets cutting the throats of Han people.  I don't know if they had justification or not but just observed how quickly they revert to the whole sharia/jihad thing wherever they are.

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Trump is looking to pick a fight with another nuclear state.  We all know where that will lead.

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The U.S. is going to keep getting into China’s business.... China might put a foot in their <deleted>...

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4 hours ago, wombat said:

amazing, appeasers playing the minority card for sharia law members in China.
sharia law lets off a jihad bomb in Tiananmen Square killing Chinese nationals then cries foul when china reacts.

Appeasers standing up for the subjugation, internment, torture of innocent people simply because of their religion.

 

Trump apologists may refer to a dictionary for the words over 4 letters. Its a book that gives meanings to words.

 

Well done the House. Getting things done, just waiting for the senate to do its job.

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A trade war, a geopolitical war and a technology war, currency war (end of the US dollar as the global currency) I don’t think we can expect to see an end to “the war” any time soon.  The US will not back down (nor should they) as to do so will just embolden China further.  Last time this played out was the 1930’s when the US was the ascendant power ... it did not go well for Britain.

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22 hours ago, kamahele said:

Um, just because they are Muslim, does not make them terrorists. I mean, in the USA, white, self proclaimed Christians make up the majority of domestic terrorist cases, but we don't blame all white Christians.....

What part of belonging to sharia law/islam don't you understand?
We are not talking about appeaser America here, We are talking about pro-active China. There is no comparison.
War was declared on America by Jihad members of sharia law/islam on 9/11.
You now have members of Sharia law/Islam elected to your congress.
I haven't seen anything that has said that war is over.
I am islamophobic and will be until the Imam tell mosque people that the Jihad section of the Koran has been deleted.

islamophobic.jpg

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19 hours ago, chilli42 said:

A trade war, a geopolitical war and a technology war, currency war (end of the US dollar as the global currency) I don’t think we can expect to see an end to “the war” any time soon.  The US will not back down (nor should they) as to do so will just embolden China further.  Last time this played out was the 1930’s when the US was the ascendant power ... it did not go well for Britain.

the amount of the American federal debt that China owns, if China called in payment today they would have owned america without a shot being fired

gold.jpg

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