China Bristles As Trump Signs Uygur Human Rights Bill

China on Thursday expressed strong opposition to the Uygur human rights bill signed by US President Donald Trump, the foreign ministry said on Thursday.

“China urges the US to immediately correct its mistake and stop using the bill to harm China’s interests. Xinjiang-related issues are not about human rights, ethnicity or religion, but about fighting violence, terrorism, and separatism,” Sputnik quoted Chinese foreign ministry as saying.

The response came after Trump on Wednesday (local time) signed legislation that calls for him to impose sanctions on Chinese officials for Beijing’s crackdown on the minority Muslim Uighur ethnic group.

The House of Representatives and Senate sent the bill, formally entitled the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020, to the President in May, The Hill reported.

In a statement issued on Wednesday afternoon, Trump said the legislation “holds accountable perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses such as the systematic use of indoctrination camps, forced labour, and intrusive surveillance to eradicate the ethnic identity and religious beliefs of Uyghurs and other minorities in China.”

The legislation condemns the Chinese Communist Party for its treatment of Uighur Muslims and other Muslim minorities and calls for the camps in China’s Xinjiang region to be closed. It directs Trump to identify and sanction individuals responsible for abuses of minority groups.

Within 180 days of signing the bill into law, Trump is required to submit a report to Congress identifying each foreign individual, including Chinese government officials, determined to be responsible for human rights abuses of individuals in the Xinjiang region, including torture, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, prolonged detention without charges and a trial, abduction, and “other flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty or the security of persons.” (ANI)

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