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Uighurs rejoice after Trump passes law against Chinese crackdown

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Published: 16:55, 20 June 2020   Update: 15:18, 26 July 2020
Uighurs rejoice after Trump passes law against Chinese crackdown

Chinese paramilitary policemen search a man's bag on a street in the Xinjiang region. (File Photo)

Cornered worldwide over the Covid-19 fiasco, China is now fuming after yet another setback as the United States passed a legislation to punish the Chinese crackdown on Uighur Muslims, media reports said.

US President Donald Trump has signed a new bill which will allow his country to impose sanctions on Chinese officials who are involved in detaining more than one million Uighurs and members of Muslims minority in the Chinese autonomous territory of Xinjiang.

The law represents a broad bipartisan commitment by the U.S. government to address one of the worst ongoing human rights crises in the world

In her speech supporting House approval on May 27, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) said, “Beijing's barbarous actions targeting the Uyghur people are an outrage to the collective conscience of the world.”

Applauding the bill’s passage, Senator Marco Rubio (R) stated “[f]or far too long, the Chinese Communist Party has tried to systematically wipe out the ethnic and cultural identities of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims. It’s long overdue to hold the perpetrators accountable.”

The US-based Uyghur Human Rights Project are celebrating the development even as China fumes.

“Uyghurs around the world are celebrating,” said Omer Kanat, UHRP Executive Director.

“It's the kind of news we have been waiting for, more than three years into the Uyghur crisis. But the United States cannot be the sole nation acting to hold the perpetrators accountable for their crimes. Uyghurs call on countries around the world to work together against ethno-religious persecution, profiling and cultural genocide,” Kanat said.

According to The New York Times, the Chinese rebuke came after China's top diplomat held a meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has called Beijing's action as "the stain of the century."

Trump passed The Uighur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 overwhelmingly both in the House and Senate.

The new law allows Trump to identify Chinese officials or any other individuals who are responsible for torturing the Uighurs and submit a report within 180 days.

UHRP said in a press release: "Democratic countries around the world must work together to take action on accountability for the Chinese government. The recently formed Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China should prioritize a coordinated response to the Uyghur human rights crisis.

"The U.S. Congress should also move quickly to pass the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, to counter the rapidly increasing threat of such products illegally entering the U.S. market.

"This legislation requires sanctions on officials and companies responsible for Uyghur forced labor, and shifts the burden of proof to importers, which must provide 'clear and convincing' evidence that imported goods from East Turkistan are free from forced labor. The scale of state-organized forced labor enslaving Uyghurs is so breathtaking that scholar Adrian Zenz calls it a 'grand scheme.' Lawmakers around the world must also act quickly to enact similar measures," it said.

Meanwhile, Trump was embarrassed by his former National Security Advisor (NSA) John Bolton who has accused the US President of having double standards.

Bolton in an excerpt of his forthcoming book published by The Wall Street Journal said it was Trump who had discussed the building of detention camps for Uighurs in western China at the G20 last year.

"According to our interpreter, Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which Trump thought was exactly the right thing to do," Bolton wrote in the excerpt.

The US legislation against China came with the trail of Trump's allegations against China over the Covid-19 outbreak. _Agencies