The House passed a bipartisan bill that would levy sanctions on Chinese officials involved in the mass surveillance and detention of Uighurs and other ethnic groups in the western Xinjiang region, an act which did not come to the light of the international fraternity because of China’s influence around the world.
By : ABP News Bureau | 28 May 2020 08: 08 AM (IST)
US Congress on Wednesday legislated and passed a major bill to strengthen United States response to an aggressive Chinese crackdown meted out on ethnic minorities, further brewing up tensions between the two superpowers of the world that have already been escalated due to the ongoing bantering over the COVID-19 pandemic.
The House passed a bipartisan bill that would levy sanctions on Chinese officials involved in the mass surveillance and detention of Uighurs and other minority ethnic groups in the western Xinjiang region, an act which did not come to the light of the international fraternity because of China’s big brotherly influence around the world.
The measure which already passed the Senate and needs a signature from President Donald Trump, who said this week he’ll “very strongly” consider it amid U.S. anger over China’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak and tension over a Chinese plan to restrict civil liberties in Hong Kong.
Both issues emerged, along with other critical issues in the China-U.S. relationship, as Republican and Democratic members of Congress spoke in support of the bill. No one spoke against it, and it passed by a 413-1 vote.
“Beijing’s barbarous actions targeting the Uighur people are an outrage to the collective conscience of the world,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a floor speech in support of the bill.
It was the first bill in history to pass with proxy votes after House Democrats, over Republican objections, adopted a measure allowing such votes in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Congress late last year voted to condemn the crackdown in Xinjiang, where Chinese authorities have detained more than a million people — from mostly Muslim ethnic groups that include Uighurs, Kazakhs and Kyrgyz — in a vast network of detention centers.
This new legislation is intended to increase the pressure by imposing sanctions on specific Chinese officials, such as the Communist Party official who oversees government policy in Xinjiang.