With the diplomatic relations between Beijing and Washington at an all-time low, largely attributed to the tussle over the provenance and accountability of the coronavirus outbreak, the United States has upped its ante against China as the Senate gave its unanimous consent to bill that would impose sanctions on Chinese officials over gross human rights violations against Uyghur Muslims.
The bill, sponsored by Republic Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, would condemn China for corralling more than a million Uyghur Muslim residents of its northwestern province of Xinjiang in internment camps and subjecting them to harsh and inhuman conditions.
“Moments ago, we passed our Uyghur human rights bill in the Senate which holds the Communist of Party of #China accountable for grotesque actions,” Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida tweeted.
Moments ago we passed our #Uyghur human rights bill in the Senate which holds the Communist of Party of #China accountable for grotesque actions.— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 14, 2020
It now heads to the House which I hope can pass it as soon as tomorrow so @POTUS can sign it into law.
The actions of the Communist government of China are “horrific and will be a blot on humanity should we refuse to act,” Senator Rubio said.
The bill was first passed by the Senate in September last year, but the House revised it to limit the export of devices that could be used to spy on or limit the communications or movement of members of the group and other Chinese citizens.
As per the current legislation, American President Trump will be required to report to Congress a list of senior Chinese officials involved in the serious human rights violations of Uyghur Muslims in China, along with the Department of State, which will have to report to Congress on human rights abuses in Xinjiang, including individuals forcibly held up in labour camps.
The passage of legislation by the US Senate comes amidst the growing clamour within America to hold China accountable for the novel coronavirus that continues its relentless march on the US soil, infecting 1.4 million people and killing more than 85,000 in the country.
China’s inhuman treatment of Uyghur Muslims
China has long been on the receiving end of criticism over its alleged treatment to Uyghur Muslims and sending them to mass detention centres. China has also been accused of oppressing and interfering Uyghur Muslims in their religious activities.
Chinese oppression of Uyghur Muslims has been known for a long time. Earlier the Chinese police had imposed a dress code for Uyghur women, under which the Muslim women are not allowed to wear long dresses. Last year photos had appeared on social media showing police cutting dresses of Uyghur women for being “too long”. It was also reported that Han Males are sleeping on the same bed as Uyghur Muslim women in China whose male family members, often husbands, are locked up in ‘reeducation camps’ in conformity with a diktat by the Chinese regime.
Despite such atrocities, China has not faced any repercussions for its ongoing totalitarian policies which are most heinously affecting the Uyghurs. They have been abandoned by the Muslim world as well. Imran Khan, who cannot stop engaging in delirious rhetoric against India regarding Kashmir, has refused to condemn China’s actions against Uyghurs.