Chinese Might Face Human Rights Sanctions — NY Times

Old Uighur men selling spices

Old Uighur men selling spices

China today dismissed a call by United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet to allow monitors into Xinjiang, Reuters reports.

The Trump administration is considering sanctions against Chinese senior officials and companies as punishment for the detention of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Uighurs and other minority Muslims, The New York Times reported Monday.

"We have a lot of tools at our disposal", she told reporters.

They spoke of Muslims being detained without proper cause and of their religion being repressed under mass surveillance. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin requesting that sanctions be applied and for additional measures to be taken against government officials. "We're not going to preview any sanctions that may or may not happen", Nauert said.

China foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang declined to give a detailed response to the report and said that Human Rights Watch was a group "full of prejudice" against China that distorts facts.

As we noted in our Access newsletter yesterday (paywall), several events coincided over the weekend and on Monday that signaled the world is really starting to notice the abusive social engineering program underway in China's Xinjiang region.

-Chinese relations have experienced ups and downs throughout the Trump presidency so far, as President Donald Trump threatens to impose billions in tariffs on Chinese goods, but the administration has stayed fairly quiet on human rights issues.

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In the camps, the report alleged detainees were forced to repeat slogans praising the Chinese Communist Party and President Xi Jinping, as well as singing patriotic songs. Although Beijing has denied the allegations, Xinjiang authorities have acknowledged the existence of "political education camps" and "characterize them as correctional or rehabilitation facilities for "incorrect" or "sick" thoughts", HRW writes.

The report echoes remarks by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which on August 10 said ethnic Uyghurs in China were being held in "counterextremism centers", with millions more forced into reeducation camps, turning China's Uighur region into "something that resembles a massive internment camp".

She called on Beijing to permit the United Nations rights office access to "all regions" of China and embark on a discussion of the issues.

Astana, which shares a 1,000-kilometer border with Xinjiang, is trying to position itself as a key link in China's One Belt, One Road economic development initiative.

The government controls primarily affect ethnic Uighurs, Kazakhs and other minorities, the report said.

As many as 13 million Muslims living in the region are increasingly subjected to mass arbitrary detention, torture and mistreatment by the Chinese government, the report noted.

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