Human Rights/Free Speech/Media
US House passes bill over treatment of Uyghurs, China criticises move

Just Earth News | @justearthnews | 04 Dec 2019 Print

US House passes bill over treatment of Uyghurs, China criticises move

Image: World Uyghur Congress‏ Twitter page

Washington: Amid reports of mass detention centers run by the Chinese government in Xinjiang, the US  House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday which demanded a tougher response from President Donald Trump-led administration.

The Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, which still needs to gain approval from the US Senate, calls for concrete measures to be taken against Beijing over allegations that up to two million Muslim-majority Uyghurs have been detained in "re-education" camps in the far western region, reported CNN.

China reacted strongly against the move made in the US and said it 'grossly interferes in China's internal affairs'.

"The US House of Representatives just passed the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019. This bill deliberately smears the human rights condition in Xinjiang, slanders China's efforts in de-radicalization and counter-terrorism and viciously attacks the Chinese government's Xinjiang policy. It seriously violates international law and basic norms governing international relations, and grossly interferes in China's internal affairs. China is strongly indignant at and firmly opposed to it," China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said in a statement.

She further said: "Xinjiang-related issues are not about human rights, ethnicity or religion, but about fighting violence, terrorism and separatism.Previously, Xinjiang suffered gravely from extremism, violence and terrorism. Faced with severe circumstances, the government of Xinjiang Autonomous Region lawfully fought violent and terrorist crimes while addressing the root causes. Our efforts include advancing de-radicalization, economic growth, ethnic solidarity, social harmony and stability."

"Thanks to those efforts, Xinjiang hasn't seen a single terrorist attack over the past three years. Those endeavors are endorsed by all 25 million people of various ethnic groups in Xinjiang. They are also China's contribution to the global counter-terrorism cause," she said.

The Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act 2019 bill was passed by 407 to 1 in the House of Representatives on Tuesday night, reported BBC.

Republican Thomas Massie, from Kentucky, meanwhile, voted against the bill.

"I voted no tonight on the UIGHUR Act (sanctions against China) for the same reason I voted no in the Hong Kong bill two weeks ago:
When our government meddles in the internal affairs of foreign countries, it invites those governments to meddle in our affairs," he tweeted.