The Senate on Wednesday unanimously passed a bill to develop a federal strategy to address China’s persecution of the 13 million Uyghur Muslims who reside in the western region of Xinjiang.
Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act (S. 178) passed after Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) made a unanimous consent request that wasn’t objected toat the end of the day’s business. The bill has the support of 44 bipartisan cosponsors — including 25 Democrats, 17 Republicans, and two Independents — and now heads to the House for possible consideration.
What’s happening to the Uyghurs?
Human rights experts say that between 800,000 to 2 million Muslims have been detained indefinitely in reeducation camps since April 2017 because the Chinese Communist Party views them as a potential extremist or separatist threat. Detainees are interned without due process in the camps, where they are subjected to communist propaganda, forced to renounce Islam, and in some cases are beaten and tortured.
And the crackdown extends beyond the reeducation camps as well, with political and cultural indoctrination occurring in schools and authorities using compulsory collection of biometric data (like DNA & voice samples), artificial intelligence, big data, and movement restrictions to control the population. The Chinese Communist Party also restricts the use of the Uyghur language and has demolished Uyghur graveyards and shrines, while there have been credible reports of extrajudicial mass killings.
A Human Rights Watch report notes that the “human rights violations in Xinjiang today are of a scope and scale not seen in China since the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution”, and explains the motivation behind it:
“Authorities have sought to justify harsh treatment in the name of maintaining stability and security in Xinjiang, and to “strike at” those deemed terrorists and extremists in a “precise” and “in-depth” manner. Xinjiang officials claim the root of these problems is the “problematic ideas” of Turkic Muslims. These ideas include what authorities describe as extreme religious dogmas, but also any non-Han Chinese sense of identity, be it Islamic, Turkic, Uyghur, or Kazakh. Authorities insist that such beliefs and affinities must be “corrected” or “eradicated.”
What would the bill do?
The Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act would call out abuses by the Chinese government and require a variety of U.S. governmental bodies to prepare reports about the persecution of Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region. The following are some of the major reports that would be required by this bill:
- The State Dept. & Director of National Intelligence (DNI) would report on the scope of the crackdown, estimate the number of detained individuals, assess Chinese surveillance efforts, and determine which Chinese companies are benefiting from the labor former Uyghur detainees who work for low wages under threat of a return to the re-education camps.
- Those agencies would also report on the regional security threats posed by China’s crackdown and the transfer of technologies for mass internment & surveillance, and note which Central Asian countries are forcibly returning Uyghur refugees & asylum seekers to China.
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) would report on its efforts to protect ethnic Uyghurs and Chinese nationals in the U.S. from Chinese government intimidation, and those whose families in China have been threatened or detained because of their advocacy.
- The U.S. Agency for Global Media would report on the reach of U.S. media such as Radio Free Asia into Xinjiang, along with an assessment of Chinese propaganda strategies and disinformation targeted at Uyghur communities globally.
This bill would also encourage the State Dept. to consider targeted sanctions against members of the Chinese government alleged to be responsible for human rights abuses in Xinjiang and elsewhere under the Magnitsky Act. Further, it’d encourage the State Dept. to consider targeted sanctions against individuals or designating the People’s Republic of China a “Country of Particular Concern” under the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act.
The Trump administration is considering whether to impose sanctions on China over the persecution in Xinjiang, although it hasn’t weighed in on the merits of this bill.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Radio Free Asia / Fair Use)LEAVE A COMMENT(129)
- jimKVoted Yes last Saturday···It is the morally right thing to do. It would have been right to recognize this abuse before the Senate decided to weaponize this issue as a warning-shot to China over trade practices. This is dangerous and could snowball into something no-one would like. Unfortunately, we may have given up too much international clout since our country has been pissing off almost all of our allies and trading partners. It may hard to actually bully another country with a rapidly growing, large economy; and who has rapidly been filling the international voids created by trump’s irrational behavior- allowing their bargaining position to become internationally stronger.Like(29)FollowShare
- MarcVoted No last Saturday···These fuckers just can’t get over that “shining city on the hill” exceptionalism can they? Have they no sense of the irony of passing this ridiculous bill while we run concentration camps at the Mexico border?Like(17)FollowShare
- ConservativeGuylast Saturday···Waste of time and energy. What can Congress do? When did Congress ever stand up to China. One man has stood up to China. His initials are DJT.Like(9)FollowShare
- PageVoted Maybe last Saturday···I worry that this is somehow a way into action against China. It’s hard to believe the same Senate who won’t censure Trump for his White Nationalism actually cares about Muslims in China.Like(9)FollowShare
- burrkittyVoted Yes last Saturday···Not that the USA has any moral authority under Trump and Moscow Mitch. As long as this isn’t the spin up for the 8th unauthorized war, sure. Surprising behavior, though, from the notoriously islamophobic Republicans.Like(16)FollowShare
- Davidlast Saturday···Window dressing from a political body and country that has no moral or ethical right to call out China over their treatment of the Uighers. This is beyond hypocritical.Like(8)FollowShare
- LibertarianVoted No last Saturday···That is not our war to fight. I do not know about you, but this combat veteran does not want to start another conflict or war. Why do we, Americans, have to do anything? Aren’t we tired of being the big brother of the world? Other countries are absolutely against us being in their countries. I am entirely against war…because I have seen war.Like(5)FollowShare
- JTJVoted Maybe last Saturday···Let’s kick the Confucius Institute out of our schools.Like(4)FollowShare
- JeffVoted Yes last Saturday···But I find it highly unusual that the Senate did some ethical. Are they reeling okay?Like(15)FollowShare
- Michael.J.Llast Saturday···We all know this is just a political ploy by the Nationalists. They and Trump could care less about Muslims. They are just a bargaining chip to Trump to put pressure on China.Like(6)FollowShare
- IanVoted Yes last Saturday···Yes. I support this. Whether our government puts it on paper or the UN does, there are always going to be critics. The United States appeals to a higher standard of living, and one that we hope to share with the rest of the world.Like(6)FollowShare
- FrankVoted Yes last Saturday···Yes, the House should take up on the Senate bill to address the persecution of the 13 Million Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, China. While the USA has pretty much lost its moral authority under Trump and Moscow Mitch, there is a possibility that if the law passed the USA will have a little moral leverage in dealing with Mainland China. Whether Trump, Pompeo, or Charles Kupperman* (the acting National Security Advisor) recognize this or even care is another matter. *Note: Kuoperman is allegedly strongly anti-Muslim.Like(4)FollowShare
- Kathi13Voted Maybe last Saturday···How about our own persecution of Muslims?!Like(3)FollowShare
- JohnVoted Yes last Saturday···Absolutely! Even though the Trumpanzees don’t believe in rights and freedoms for anyone other than Fascists.Like(3)FollowShare
- BarbVoted Yes last Saturday···The Congress should also reflect on Tibet as well as Taiwan. Both are also under pressure from China although Tibet has been absorbed and Taiwan has not.Like(3)FollowShare
- AnnVoted Yes last Saturday···Yes but it will fall on deaf ears in China since we have human rights violations of similar nature on our Southern border.Like(3)FollowShare
- SandraVoted Maybe last Sunday···Wow….that’s rich. We’re telling other countries how NOT to discriminate when we have hispanic babies in cages, young black men have been gunned down by police with no one held accountable, White nationalists with pathetic Tiki torches chanting “Jews will not replace us”, Hispanics gunned down in a Walmart etc., etc. Congress, we need to clean up the mess here. Our country was founded (native Indians slaughtered and put on reservations) and grew with the “help” of people stolen from their countries and forced into slavery. They need to address these many discriminations and atrocities before they start pointing fingers.Like(3)FollowShare
- Jim2423Voted No last Saturday···China has did nothing concerning our flaws, so why should we interfere in their their government issues. All things take time, prejudices are hard to overcome. We see that in our own country. Not only with black Americans but Jewish American, Muslin American, and others. We are not one with righteousness to pick up the first stone.Like(3)FollowShare
- PhillipVoted No last Saturday···Sadly we can no longer say anything on moral issues anymore. Not while concentration camps exist. Not while we have human rights abuses and child molestation going on at our borders. Not while we have the highest incarceration rate in the world. Not while we have uninsured and underinsured citizens. The list goes on. Tidy up our own backyard first.Like(2)FollowShare
- AnonymousPatronVoted No last Saturday···If “We” Cannot Stop the Oppression of Black, Brown and Mixed Race Americans why do “We” Believe That we Can Even Think about Addressing an Issue In Another Country?!Like(2)FollowShare
- FracturedGhast7Voted Yes last Saturday···We need to battle against China and their unethical actions, corrupt communist government, and more.LikeFollowShare
- Donnalast Saturday···WHY do US SENATORS Pass a BILl PROTECTINLikeFollowShare
- pklVoted Yes last Monday···Hard to believe the Senate actually did something good for once. No doubt the House will follow.LikeFollowShare
- SandraVoted Maybe last Saturday···I’m looking for the other shoe to fall – Can’t believe Moscow Mitch let this pass…oh yeah, it’s not helping anyone, just another way to use sanctions & tarifs.LikeFollowShare
- GeorgeVoted Yes last Monday···Human Rights violations…LikeFollowShare
- DavidVoted No Yesterday at 3:21 PM···Let China run China and let UN weigh in. Do the work of this country first. Talk about antagonizing trade partnersLikeFollowShare
- LindaVoted No last Monday···It is not enough that we are “saber-rattling” at Iran. And that we have destabilized our own country with a tariff war with China. Are we now setting the stage for a war with China? We are the destabilizers of the world.LikeFollowShare
- DarleneVoted Maybe last Saturday···This sounds like the beginnings of another country the Legislative body is going to try to enter to “nation build” the Muslim population down the road.LikeFollowShare
- Poli.SciVoted No last Saturday···What do we achieve by interfering in ORC policy? Nothing. It gets us further from achieving a cohesive trade deal, it destabilizes the region even more by putting two superpowers against each other and there are very little US allies to help in any situation that would arise. The Philippines, even though they are a close US ally, are closer to China as they offer more immediately than the US. Since Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the WORLD, why can they not advocate a solution to the problem? Or how about Middle Eastern countries? If they are the protectors of Muslim relics and such, should they not be advocating a protectionist policy to their religious brothers and sisters? The US gains absolutely nothing by passing a bill to alter Chinese policy. We have no allies in this maneuver and it is by far an unrealistic policy to enact.LikeFollowShare
- MattVoted Maybe last Monday···So, your gonna tell China to cut it out? They are going to continue to silence, kill, torcher, harvest organs and sell them to us.( And the sorry representatives we have will be first in line to buy them) They do way worse than we know. As their money dries up they will increase their human atrocities. That’s just how communism works. So, the communists/ Democrats in this country should take a good look instead of pointing fingers. That’s where their total government plans lead.LikeFollowShare
- JosephVoted No last Saturday···Mind our own businessLikeFollowShare
- WesVoted No last Saturday···But Muslim nations can persecute Jews, Christians, and other groups to the point of mass murder with impunity. I don’t understand why Persecution is ok for Muslims, but not against Muslims. I’m gettin sick of government cowering to these vermin.LikeFollowShare
- TimVoted Yes last Monday···AbsolutelyLikeFollowShare
- Diane flast Saturday···Fix our problems then worry about other countries Like an airplane put your mask on first then anyone else’sLikeFollowShare
- RitzVoted Maybe last Saturday···I do not trust our do nothing senate but they all the way fake president to break laws and not hold him accountable.LikeFollowShare
- KristinVoted Yes last Saturday···America should have stopped trade with China when they invaded Tibet, where human rights abuses continue. It is hypocritical now, considering the ongoing detention of asylum seekers at our southern border, but, yes, America should always protest ethnic cleansing.LikeFollowShare
- JohnVoted No last Saturday···What is the point??LikeFollowShare
- JamesVoted Yes last Monday···👍👍👍LikeFollowShare
- JayVoted No last Saturday···Sunni good boys ok Shia questiuonableLikeFollowShare
- JamesVoted No last Saturday···Do more prayer rug lazy folks coming here? I’m not backing down! How many Muslim refugees has The So Called “ People’s Republic” taken in from Syria, Iraq and elsewhere from the Middle East or Afghanistan or Somalia? Huh? How many? Do the western countries that are more Judeo/Christian should have to take in these people that hate Western Civilization and mostly Christianity? How many of these Muslim refugees has either China or Russia take in? Tell me? None! Not a One! And for good reason too! Japan definately won’t give them refuge! And they are right for doing so! Tell The Stinking Chinese to quit their Ethnic Cleansing! Those are their people! Not Ours! We don’t need not want them!LikeFollowShare
- ReneVoted Yes last Monday···Too bad this wasn’t brought to our attention prior to TRUMP’s Terrible Tariffs!LikeFollowShare
- RobertVoted Yes last Monday···We should still realize that China is a communist country that has dehumanized people for decades but we want to act as there just the same as another trading partner this is pure greed on our part there are plenty of countries that we should invest in let freedom bring China around and stop sending them money period!LikeFollowShare
- SamuelVoted Yes last Saturday···I believe in religious freedom. That includes all religions.LikeFollowShare
- DonnaVoted No Yesterday at 8:05 PM···How does this help the taxpayers in the USA?? China is a reprehensible country torturing dogs, humans, and we should not be dealing with them at all…LikeFollowShare
- RANVoted No last Saturday···NoLikeFollowShare
- DominicVoted Maybe last Monday···I choose maybe because what difference would it make? Us humans are addicted to ideology and control and being controlled. Islam’s goal is to cover the planet in Islam as well as the Christians want to with their ideology. Communism wants the to take over all of humanity. There is a dictator mindset brewing somewhere all the time. So who’s going to win out here? They all say they are. The holy BOOKS all say they are. So it’s either you, we, or they. Just remember the words of Hillary Clinton, “what difference, at this point(or any point) does it matter”! Have fun trying! I hope to be cremated by then.LikeFollowShare
- DavidVoted Maybe last Monday···Perhaps we might wrap this in a retreat from tariffs.LikeFollowShare
- GaVoted Maybe last Monday···I’m always concerned when our government tries to tell other governments what to do.Until we can manage the problems in our own country (which are extremely numerous) we should stay out of other country’s business unless asked for help.LikeFollowShare
- MathewVoted No last Monday···Why would we pass legislation that doesn’t have anything to do with U.S. citizens? What’s next? Let’s ban the caste system in India and Gendarmerie no-go zones Paris arrondissements.LikeFollowShare
- Drvu2itVoted No last Monday···We can’t do this until the US brings back manufacturing from China. By letting all the American company’s move all the manufacturing there, we gave China something to hold over our heads as a threat. We’re already feeling that with all Trump’s tariffs on products American companies have produced there. If China wanted to play hardball, they could just cut the US off from all products and we’d be up a creek without a paddle!LikeFollowShare
- CarolVoted Yes last Monday···Yes, it is the right thing to do. It is evil and cruel what they are doing to these people.LikeFollowShare
- StGeorgeVoted Yes last Monday···At the same time pass a bill to counteract US persecution of Muslims, Puerto Rican’s, Bahamians, Hispanics, Latinos, African-Americans, the homeless, the less fortunate, senior citizens, our air, water and earth, etc, etc, etcLikeFollowShare
- ClydeKVoted Yes last Monday···It is time this Administration took a stand to support human rights abuses everywhere. Even if it means #45 must take a stand against some of his dictatorial friends.LikeFollowShare
- GreggVoted No last Monday···China’s acts are wrong. Congress shoulwrrycaboutAmerica and quit punishing conservatives.LikeFollowShare
- DennisVoted No last Saturday···Mind your own damn businessLikeFollowShare
- CarenVoted No last Saturday···NO! We should not interfere with China’s affairs! This country has enough to be concerned with!LikeFollowShare
- Brettalast Monday···We need to take care of our own problems in our Country. I refer to an older adage: Clean up your own doorstep before you start on someone else’s. We don’t need to stick our nose into that unfortunate dilemma.LikeFollowShare
- ArlysVoted Maybe Yesterday at 12:52 AM···Maybe we should just stay out of the damn mess. Communism DOES NOT support ANY type of religion. Neither Islam or Christianity. They used to slaughter Christians by the hundreds over the last several centuries. It’s all about control and you can’t have any opposition to that power. Not even religion.LikeFollowShare
- PhilVoted Yes Yesterday at 1:07 AM···Yes, the bill should be passed, if for nothing else, but to show the world our high esteem for human rights. When and if the bill passes, America should be prepared for blowback from China and other countries like her for our treatment of our people of color (Black Lives Matter), our separating children from their parents at our southern boarder, and other instances of human rights abuses against the homeless, addicts, LQBTIA, women, and the First Peoples. Until this country can say that everyone is treated equal in the eyes of the law, this country is really in no position to tell other countries of the world how to treat their citizens.LikeFollowShare
- TessVoted Yes Yesterday at 3:26 AM···Yes-do this right after you pass legislation supporting and protecting asylum-seekers trying to enter this country. The new legislation needs to include asylum from gangs and other threats. US gangs look like Disney characters compared to what these people experience outside of the US.LikeFollowShare
- LanceVoted No last Saturday···That’s the Exact same thing as Russia influencing our internal Chinese matter and not our business