US legislators to urge China sanctions over Xinjiang crackdown | Eurasia Diary -

24 May, Friday

US legislators to urge China sanctions over Xinjiang crackdown

The proposed bill will urge Trump to condemn crackdown on Uighurs, press for ban on sale of surveillance technology.

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US lawmakers will introduce legislation on Wednesday urging the Trump administration to respond more strongly to China's crackdown on Uighur Muslims, including possible sanctions.

The bill will also ask President Donald Trump to condemn China's actions in the Xinjiang region, call for the appointment of a new "special coordinator" for US policy on the issue, and press for a ban on the export of technology that Beijing could use in surveillance and mass detention of the minority Uighurs, according to a copy seen by Reuters news agency.

The lawmakers want the government to consider human rights-related sanctions against Xinjiang Party Secretary Chen Quanguo, who is also a member of the powerful politburo, and other officials "credibly alleged to be responsible" for the security crackdown.

"Chinese government officials should be held accountable for their complicity in this evil, and US businesses should be barred from helping China create a high-tech police state in Xinjiang," said Chris Smith, a Republican representative and one of the sponsors of the bipartisan legislation that will be presented in both the upper and lower houses of Congress.

Trump's senior aides have become more vocal recently in their criticism of China's treatment of its minority Muslims in Xinjiang.

Any decision to impose sanctions, however, would be a rare move on human rights grounds against China, with which the Trump administration is engaged in a bitter trade war.

The White House and the Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the legislative proposal, which is also being supported by Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic Senator Bob Menendez.


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