Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act

Editorials in The New York Times and The Washington Post supported the passage of the Act.[19][20] Opinion pieces written in various publications also supported the passage of the Act.[21]

On the same day President Trump signed the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act into law, former National Security Advisor John Bolton claimed Trump had on two occasions told Chinese leader Xi Jinping to go forward with plans related to Uyghur internment.[16][22]

Nury Turkel, commissioner on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom and Uyghur American activist, thanked President Trump for signing the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act and further wrote that, “It’s a great day for America and the Uighur people”.[23]

On July 9, 2020, the Trump administration imposed sanctions and visa restrictions against senior Chinese officials, including Chen QuanguoZhu Hailun, Wang Mingshan (王明山) and Huo Liujun (霍留军). With sanctions, they and their immediate relatives are barred from entering the US and will have US-based assets frozen.[24]

International Uyghur community

World Uyghur Congress spokesman said on December 3, 2019 that the House bill is important in opposing “China’s continued push of extreme persecution” and that the organization looks forward to President Trump signing the bill.[17][25] Uyghur activists, think tank analysts and political representatives called on various governments to sanction Mainland Chinese officials for their perceived involvement in the Xinjiang conflict.[26]

In June 2020, co-founder of the Uyghur Human Rights Project and former President of the Uyghur American Association Nury Turkel, said that the U.S. government must use the new bill to impose sanctions on Chinese officials for religious persecution. He also urged Congress to pass a second bill, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which would direct the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to presume that any goods produced in the Uyghur region are the product of forced labor.[27]

On June 17, President Donald Trump signed a legislation the “Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020” to punish China over their oppression of Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minority groups. Under this law, the Trump administration has 180 days to identify Chinese officials responsible for carrying out human rights abuses, and level sanctions on those alleged to have roles in mass surveillance and detention.[28]

Memetrusul Hesen, an Uyghur and former resident of Kargilik County (Yecheng), Kashgar Prefecture, Xinjiang who is now a citizen of Kyrgyzstan, left China with his aged mother in 2016. After a brief period of contact via phone in 2016, he had no longer been able to speak with his family or any of the members of his extended family up to mid-2020, despite having filed numerous requests for information at the Chinese embassy. Hesen said his mother, Halimihan Ahun, 92, sits and cries everyday. In an interview with Radio Free Asia, Hesen expressed thanks to the United States for thinking about Uyghur suffering, and expressed hope the bill’s passage could be a driving force for change.[29]

Chinese government and its allies

The Chinese government have called the bill a malicious attack on China and demanded that the United States prevent it from becoming law, warning that it would act to defend its interests as necessary.[17] On December 4, 2019, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said that the bill “wantonly smeared China’s counter-terrorism and de-radicalization efforts”.[2] On December 8, 2019, Minfeng/Niya County (in eastern Hotan Prefecture, southern Xinjiang) County Communist Party Committee Vice Secretary (委副书记) and County Magistrate (县长) Aizezi Aili (艾则孜·艾力) and Kashgar Prefecture Communist Party Committee Vice Secretary and Commissioner (喀什地委副书记、行署专员) Pa’erhati Rouzi (帕尔哈提·肉孜) penned criticisms of the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act.[30][31] The claim of deradicalization drew criticism in an article by the Deccan Chronicle[32] while an article written by Srikanth Kondapalli made criticisms of the PRC’s grand strategy for Xinjiang.[33]

Analysts cited in an article by Reuters said that Mainland China’s response to passage of the Uyghur bill could be stronger than its reaction to the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act,[17] while the BBC’s China correspondent said that if the bill became law, then it would mark the most significant international attempt to pressure mainland China over its mass detention of the Uyghurs.[25]

In December 2019, the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates defended China’s actions in Xinjiang and condemned the U.S. Uyghur human rights bill as a “blatant interference by the US in the internal affairs of the People’s Republic of China.”[34]

See also


  1. Jump up to:a b “H.R.649 – Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019”. United States Congress. Archived from the original on December 4, 2019. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  2. Jump up to:a b c d e Westcott, Ben; Byrd, Haley (December 3, 2019). “US House passes Uyghur Act calling for tough sanctions on Beijing over Xinjiang camps”CNNArchived from the original on December 4, 2019. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  3. ^ “Actions Overview S.178 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)”. United States Congress. Archived from the original on December 4, 2019. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  4. Jump up to:a b c d “Uyghur bill demanding sanctions on Chinese officials passes US House of Representatives”ABC News. December 4, 2019. Archived from the original on December 4, 2019. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  5. Jump up to:a b Lipes, Joshua (September 12, 2019). “US Senate Passes Legislation to Hold China Accountable for Rights Abuses in Xinjiang”Radio Free AsiaArchived from the original on September 21, 2019. Retrieved October 5, 2019.
  6. ^ Byrd, Haley (May 14, 2020). “Senate approves Uyghur human rights bill”CNNArchived from the original on May 13, 2020. Retrieved May 14, 2020.
  7. Jump up to:a b “House Passes Uighur Human Rights Bill, Prodding Trump to Punish China”The New York Times. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  8. Jump up to:a b Lipes, Joshua (June 17, 2020). “Trump Signs Uyghur Rights Act Into Law, Authorizing Sanctions For Abuses in Xinjiang”Radio Free Asia. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  9. ^ S.178 – Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019, 116th Congress (2019-2020)Archived December 4, 2019, at the Wayback Machine,
  10. ^ “Anger in China as US House passes Uighur crackdown bill”Al Jazeera. December 3, 2019. Archived from the original on December 4, 2019. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  11. Jump up to:a b Roll Call Vote No. 644 Archived December 4, 2019, at the Wayback Machine, Clerk of the United States House of Representative (December 2, 2019).
  12. ^ Haley Byrd (May 14, 2020). “Senate approves Uyghur human rights bill”CNNArchived from the original on May 20, 2020. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  13. ^ Shih, Gerry. “Trump signs Uighur sanctions bill amid Bolton criticism, drawing fury from China”Washington Post.
  14. ^ “Trump Signs Bill Pressuring China Over Uighur Muslim Crackdown”. June 17, 2020 – via
  15. ^ “Trump signs bill pressuring China over Uighur Muslim crackdown”. June 18, 2020 – via
  16. Jump up to:a b Kevin Liptak (June 17, 2020). “Trump signs Uyghur human rights bill on same day Bolton alleges he told Xi to proceed with detention camps”CNN. Archived from the original on July 4, 2020. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
  17. Jump up to:a b c d Lee, Se Young; Brunnstrom, David (December 3, 2019). “Trump comments, Uighur bill hurt prospects of U.S.-China deal”ReutersArchived from the original on December 4, 2019. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  18. ^ Flatley, Daniel (December 4, 2019). “U.S. House Passes Xinjiang Bill, Prompting Threat From China”Bloomberg NewsArchived from the original on December 4, 2019. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  19. ^ “China’s Brutal ‘Boarding Schools'”. NYT. NYT. March 17, 2019. Archived from the original on December 19, 2019. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
  20. ^ “What Congress can do now to combat China’s mass ethnic cleansing of Uighurs”Washington Post. Washington Post. May 23, 2019. Archived from the original on October 31, 2019. Retrieved December 19, 2019. Meanwhile, bipartisan legislation aimed at holding the Chinese accountable, sponsored by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), has cleared the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and is in committee in the House. Hopefully it will pass both chambers soon.
  21. ^ Sources include:
  22. ^ Philip Ewing (June 17, 2020). “Trump Told China To ‘Go Ahead’ With Prison Camps, Bolton Alleges In New Book”National Public Radio. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  23. ^ “China Warns of ‘Countermeasures’ After Trump OKs Bill to ‘Punish’ Country Over Ethnic Crackdown”CNN-News18. June 18, 2020. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  24. ^ “US sanctions Chinese officials over Xinjiang ‘violations'” July 9, 2020.
  25. Jump up to:a b “China sanctions: US House passes bill over treatment of Uighurs”. BBC. BBC. December 4, 2019. Archived from the original on December 9, 2019. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
  26. ^ Sources include
  27. ^ “The U.S. Must Use the New Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act to Sanction Chinese Officials for Religious Persecution”Time. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
  28. ^ “Trump signed a law to punish China for its oppression of the Uighur Muslims. Uighurs say much more needs to be done”Business Insider. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  29. ^ “‘It’s Been Years, But There’s Been No News’: Uyghur Missing 35 Family Members in Xinjiang”.
  30. ^ 艾则孜·艾力 (December 8, 2019). 李梦婷 (ed.). “Archived copy” 坚决不允许美国蓄意诋毁和抹黑新疆的人权状况 (in Chinese). Xinhua News AgencyArchived from the original on December 8, 2019. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  31. ^ 帕尔哈提·肉孜 (December 8, 2019). “Archived copy” 新疆维吾尔人权状况不容诋毁英吉沙县人民政府门户网站 (in Chinese). Archived from the original on March 3, 2020. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  32. ^ “‘De-radicalising’ Uighur Muslims: Is the Chinese action justified?”. Deccan Chronicle. Dawn. December 18, 2019. Archived from the original on December 19, 2019. Retrieved December 19, 2019. Calling the US action a political move aimed at damaging its international image, China says it is running a deradicalisation programme to mainstream its communities. The Chinese claim has not been verified by independent sources and mystery shrouds its deradicalisation or re-education programme. China needs to demonstrate to the international community that it has inserted human rights safeguards in its deradicalisation measures … It is interesting that at a time when exclusionism, supremacism, and hyper-nationalism tendencies are globally on the rise, China has decided to launch its own version of ‘harmonising’ society. This thinking might appear to negate the global trends but in essence, its objectives are similar, and it has little space for accepting diversity.
  33. ^ Kondapalli, Srikanth (December 8, 2019). “‘No Mercy’ for the Uighurs”. Deccan Herald. Deccan Herald. Archived from the original on December 28, 2019. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
  34. ^ “Syria defends China’s Uyghur policy after US condemnation”Middle East Monitor. December 6, 2019. Archived from the original on April 22, 2020. Retrieved December 22,2019.

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