President Donald Trump has signed a sanction law against China for persecuting the Uyghur Muslim minority. According to the law, the government must identify Chinese government officials responsible for suppressing the Uyghur minority and other Muslim groups in Xinjiang province in northwest China within 180 days.
Based on the law, Trump can impose sanctions on Chinese government officials. It can also choose to refrain from sanctions if it determines that they would harm the national interests of the United States.
The law blames authors of human rights violations such as the “systematic use” of re-education camps, forced labor and surveillance to “eradicate the ethnic identity and religious beliefs of the Uighurs and other minorities in China,” the White House said. Congress had passed the bill with bipartisan support in late May – there was only one vote against in the House of Representatives.
The law threatens to further intensify tensions between America and China. During the Coronavirus pandemic, the relationship had deteriorated considerably. Trump accused China of not containing the virus at its source. Another point of contention is Beijing’s increasing interference in the actually autonomous metropolis of Hong Kong.
Amid the tensions, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with the Chinese diplomat and member of the powerful Communist Labor Party political bureau Yang Yiechi in Hawaii on Wednesday. Details of the meeting were initially unknown.
China has threatened America with consequences. The United States would have to “correct its mistakes immediately” and withdraw the bill. “Otherwise, China will definitely be determined to resist, and any resulting consequences must be borne entirely by the United States,” a statement from the Chinese State Department said on Thursday.
The law was signed on the day of the publication of explosive extracts from the unpublished book by Trump’s former National Security Advisor John Bolton . In a chapter previously published by the Wall Street JournalChinese President Xi Jinping is said to have told Trump at a dinner at the G20 summit in Osaka in Japan last year why he was building camps in Xinjiang.