U.S. House condemns China for crackdown on ethnic Muslims
December 4, 2019 - The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill on December 3, targeting China’s mass crackdown on ethnic Muslim minorities in the far western Xinjiang region of the country.
The congressional bill passed by a vote of 407 to 1 -- it must still go to the Senate and then the president for approval.
The pushback from Beijing has escalated in recent days. Xinjiang Governor Shohrat Zakir has condemned the bill as a severe violation of international law and “crude meddling in China’s internal affairs,” accusing the U.S. of launching a smear campaign.
On Monday, December 9, Zakir claimed all the “students” in China’s vast network of re-education camps have “graduated” and are living happy lives.
The U.S. legislation condemns the detention of more than one million Uighurs, Kazakhs and other minorities in so-called re-education camps. Former camp detainees who have left China claim harsh and even brutal treatment inside the facilities, including political indoctrination, torture, beatings, and food deprivation, as well as denial of religious and linguistic freedom.
It would require the State Department to evaluate whether Chinese officials would meet the criteria for sanctions for their roles in the crackdown in the Xinjiang region.