By Tenzin Dharpo
Uygyur activists protests against China. image- The Conversation
DHARAMSHALA, Dec. 5: China has hit back at the United States after its lower house of Congress passed the Uyghur bill that demands sanction against officials who are responsible for the crackdown and repression in Xinjiang as well as ban exports from the region.
The Uighur Act demands targeting officials including Xinjiang’s regional Communist Party chief, Chen Quanguo, a member of the ruling party’s elite 25-person Politburo who is seen as the mastermind behind the mass detention and surveillance program in Xinjiang. Chen, 64, who was earlier the party chief in Tibet was behind the repressive and suffocating surveillance drives that earned him a reputation of being the ethnic policy innovator’ within the party.
On Tuesday the US House of Representatives passed the bill 407 to 1. It requires the U.S. president to condemn abuses against Muslims and call for the closure of mass detention camps in the north-western region of Xinjiang. During the floor test, Republican Congressman Chris Smith said what is happening in Xinjiang is a “modern-day concentration camps” and likened the mass internment of millions to the Holocaust.
In response, China denounced the bill on Wednesday saying that it would respond to the House’s passage of the Uighur Act. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying urged the US to “immediately correct its mistake, stop the above bill on Xinjiang from becoming law, and stop using Xinjiang as a way to interfere in China’s domestic affairs.”
The bill comes days after US President Donal Trump signed congressional legislation supporting anti-government protesters in Hong Kong, into law. China responded by saying that U.S. military ships and aircraft would not be allowed to visit Hong Kong.