People mocked Trump for making China a central policy of his election platform. Since then, US foreign policy — from both parties — has taken a much stronger stand. But let’s not remind the Democrats that Trump was a ‘visionary’ early adopter on this issue. They might suddenly reverse their positions simply to continue ‘The Resistance’.
The tally was 413-1. The near-unanimous support in Congress – the Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent – puts pressure on Trump to impose human rights sanctions on China.
Although Trump’s fellow Republicans in Congress said they expected he would sign the bill, the White House has not yet indicated whether he will do so. Aides did not respond to requests for comment.
The bill calls for sanctions against those responsible for repression of Uighurs and other Muslim groups in China’s Xinjiang province, where the United Nations estimates that more than a million Muslims have been detained in camps. — ChannelNewsAsia
Let’s quickly recap what led up to this…
Just last month, Trump held China’s feet to the fire over air travel policies, for denying US carriers access to Chinese international airports. Since this was a violation of existing agreements, the POTUS initiated a US policy that limits Chinese access to US airports to levels China allows to US carriers.
When China took aggressive action in swallowing up Hong Kong and stripping citizens of their Democratic rights and freedoms ahead of the timeline agreed upon for their transition from being a Western Industrialized nation to an extension of Red China… Trump responded by stripping away some special rights and freedoms which Hong Kong had enjoyed.
If Hong Kong can no longer freely behave as a Western Nation, with their rights, freedoms and transparency, China should not have the opportunity to exploit the special relationship with us that nations like Hong Kong have enjoyed.
Tension with China has been growing. Whether we are looking at the trade war, and China exploiting supply chain issues during a pandemic including pharmaceuticals, for their benefit and our harm; or mistreatment of Uyghurs, Christians, and other minorities; their anti-black racism during COVID, or even the deception in the early days of Chinese Cornavirus itself… tensions are high.
As our relationship with China took center stage, the nature of our relationship to them — including the protest crackdowns that we were reporting on before COVID and Impeachment — came under greater scrutiny.
Now, an issue some of us have been raised for a long time has broken onto the public discourse… with shockingly bipartisan results.
The Democratic-led House and Republican-controlled Senate passed legislation nearly unanimously calling for sanctions against those responsible for repression in China’s Xinjiang province, after U.N. estimates that over 1 million Muslims have been detained.
The bill singles out the region’s Communist Party secretary, Chen Quanguo, a member of China’s ruling Politburo, as responsible for “gross human rights violations” against Muslims.
“This is a genocide. More than a million people are in concentration camps. Millions more are harassed every day,” said Republican Representative Chris Smith, a lead supporter of the legislation.
China denies mistreatment.
Sending the bill to the White House starts a 10-day clock, minus Sundays, for Trump to sign the bill into law or veto it. Otherwise, it becomes law without his signature. —Yahoo
The bill was signed on May 28. That 10-day clock is drawing to a close.
Uyghur activist, Nury Turkel wrote the following in Time…
Sadly, there’s no shortage of complicit officials in China. I urge President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to impose sanctions on them, including Communist Party Secretary Chen Quanguo. In addition to overseeing the concentration camps in Xinjiang—the Chinese region that is home to most Uyghurs and known to us as East Turkistan—Chen is also responsible for creating a surveillance state in Tibet that monitors Buddhist monasteries. The U.S. government should also target former Political and Legal Affairs Commission Chief Zhu Hailun, the architect of China’s repressive policies against Uyghurs.
In addition, I urge Congress to swiftly pass a second bill, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which would direct the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) to presume that any goods produced in the Uyghur region are the product of forced labor. The CBP has already blocked imports from individual Chinese companies due to concerns about forced labor. This bill would help ensure that no American consumer makes purchases that would violate their sense of justice.
I understand the hesitancy of some U.S. officials to use this authority and further aggravate the already complicated U.S.-China relationship. However, now is the time for action; we must demonstrate that there will be serious consequences for the Communist Party’s alleged crimes against humanity.
While no country has a perfect record on human rights, nothing illustrates the differences between China and the United States better than how they treat their Muslim populations. In China, the Communist Party treating Islam like a mental illness and has interned millions of Muslims who display their faith visibly, such as by growing beards or wearing veils. In the United States, a Muslim Uyghur-American was appointed to the National Security Council in 2019. In Urumqi, the regional capital, authorities have waged campaigns against halal dietary restrictions. In Washington, D.C., Uyghurs have opened several restaurants.
It’s a big decision… one not without consequence.
NOT taking action will have consequences for vulnerable people within China.
TAKING action will have unknown second-order consequences for Chinese retaliation.
It’s an important decision, and one we hope we will get right.