DHARAMSALA, Sept 12: The Trump administration is considering sanctions against China amidst concerns over China’s “worsening crackdown” on minority Muslims in the Chinese occupied Uyghur.
Discussions to rebuke China for its treatment of its minority Muslims have been underway for months among officials at the White House and the Treasury and State Departments and the sanctions would be against Chinese senior officials and some companies for violating human rights, The New York Times reported.
Economic sanctions in response to reports of mass detentions of Muslims would be a rare US confrontation of Beijing over human rights and a first under the Trump administration, the report said while it further noted that the U.S. would also seek to restrict its sale of surveillance technology that China uses to track and monitor its Muslim population in Uyghur.
The report further noted that last month, a UN Panel confronted Chinese diplomats in Geneva over the detention while it also estimated that China has detained as many as 1 million Uighurs in internment camps and “re-education” programs where abuse, torture and even death are commonplace.
The sanctions could be imposed under the Global Magnitsky Act which allows the US government to freeze the US assets of human rights violators, bar them from travelling to the US and prohibit Americans from doing business with them, noted a report on The Guardian.
This could add more tension to the already strained relationship between the Washington and Beijing as they have locked horn in the trade war.
The New York Times reports Chinese Muslims in the camps are forced to attend daily classes, denounce aspects of Islam, study mainstream Chinese culture and pledge loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party.
Though the Chinese officials have labelled the process “transformation through education” or “counter-extremism education,” until now they have not acknowledged that large groups of Muslims are being detained.