US House passes Uighur Act to sanction, toughen its response over China’s Uighur crackdown

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

DHARAMSALA, 4 Dec: The US House of Representative has overwhelmingly passed a bill that calls for a tough response to China’s crackdown on Uighur Muslims in East Turkistan.

The Uighur Act of 2019 counters China’s “arbitrary detention, torture, and harassment” of Uighur Muslims, BBC Reported.

The legislation requires US President Donald Trump to condemn abuses against Muslims and call for the closure of mass detention camps in the north-western region of Xinjiang.

It also calls on the president to impose sanctions on the Xinjiang Communist party secretary, Chen Quanguo.

The report stated that the legislation aims “to address gross violations of universally recognised human rights, including the mass internment of over 1,000,000 Uighurs”.

While rights groups say that tens of thousands of Muslims are detained in high-security prison camps across east Turkistan, Beijing has maintained that the camps are voluntary education and training centre.

The Uighur Act of 2019 cleared the house with 407-1  votes on Tuesday night. The bill which has bipartisan support still needs to clear the Senate before it is tabled to be signed by US President Donal Trump.

China has strongly objected to the bill as an affront by the US to discredit its efforts to combat terrorism” and meddling in internal affairs.

“We urge the US to immediately correct its mistakes, prevent the Xinjiang-related bill from becoming law, and stop using Xinjiang-related issues to interfere in China’s internal affairs. China will respond accordingly to the development of the situation,” the Guardian quoted China’s foreign ministry as saying in its report.

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