For far too long, China has been having a free run with respect to its barbarism in Xinjiang province, where it has rounded up over a million Muslims on the pretext of ‘vocational training’ and deradicalization. However, the world community has been silent all this while, and that status quo is now being broken by the United States.
The US House of Representatives has passed a bill titled the ‘Uighur Act of 2019‘. The said act was passed with almost cent percent majority and it calls upon the US President to take stringent action against members of the Chinese politburo involved in the incarceration and rounding up of Muslims in Xinjiang. The action would usually be in the form of sanctions against Chinese officials. The Bill specifically names the Xinjiang Communist party secretary, Chen Quanguo. The Bill further requires the President to condemn abuses against Muslims and call for the closure of mass detention camps in the north-western region of Xinjiang.
The Bill, having been passed by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives will now be sent to the Republican-controlled US Senate, and if it is passed by the Senate, it will be put forward to Donald Trump for his assent. It is yet to be seen as to how Trump reacts to the Bill. Many are expecting him to sign the Bill and make it an Act of US Law.
Recently, Trump also signed into law a legislation supporting anti-government protesters in Hong Kong despite vehement objections from China. China responded on Monday to the Hong Kong legislation by saying US military ships and aircraft would not be allowed to visit Hong Kong, and announced sanctions against several US non-government organisations. China’s response to the now slated Uighur Act is expected to be of even greater proportions, as such events will put many more eyes on China.
Recently, a New York Times leak had revealed how Xi Jinping has himself initiated and led to the humanitarian crisis in Xinjiang. We had then explained how it is in fact a personal grudge which Xi is venting out against the Muslims. While most Islamic nations have been silent on China’s mass detention of Muslims, democratic nations have subtly hinted at their discomfort regarding the same. In these detention camps however, all the victims of China’s oppression are indoctrinated with the Communist ideology, and loyalty to the party. They further ‘de-radicalize’ Muslims, irrespective of whether they were ever radicalized or not.
The criteria for detention usually is: possession of the Quran, an over-the neck beard, non-consumption of alcohol and cigarettes, etc. Recently, it was also exposed how the Uighur women are forced to share beds with Chinese officials. The Chinese government describes the spies as ‘relatives’ of the monitored families who have to work, eat, and often share a bed with their ‘hosts’ as the Uighurs are compulsorily made to stay with their ‘paired relatives’ day and night. Moreover, the UN Human Rights Council has also been told that the Chinese government is harvesting and selling organs from persecuted ethnic and religious minorities including the Uighur Muslims.
If the US passes this high voltage Act as law, the dynamics of the presently-tense US-China relations will take a turn for the worse. However, anticipating such tensions would be a grave injustice to the millions who are languishing in detention camps across Xinjiang. It is about time the US sets a precedent, that China’s actions threatening human rights of its citizens will no longer be above question.