House Reps overwhelmingly pass bill on Uighurs

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on December 4, 2019 - Duration: 01:39s

House Reps overwhelmingly pass bill on Uighurs

The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted in favor of a bill that would aim to close mass detention camps for China's Uighur Muslim community as well as sanction Chinese officials involved in the mass detention of Uighur Muslims in China's Xinjiang province.

Jayson Albano reports.

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House Reps overwhelmingly pass bill on Uighurs

(SOUNDBITE) (English) DEMOCRATIC HOUSE LEADER NANCY PELOSI, SAYING: "We are sending a message to Beijing.

America is watching and we will not stand silent.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke on Tuesday (December 3), as the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill aimed at China's crackdown on its Muslim minority.

The Uighur Act of 2019 calls for the closure of mass detention camps in the province of Xinjiang.

It would see sanctions imposed on a member of China's Politburo for the first time.

The committee oversees China's Communist Party.

The bill would also ban the export of surveillance technology to China.

If passed it will require the Trump administration to toughen its response to China's treatment of its Uighur minority.

Republican Congressman Chris Smith condemned Beijing's treatment of the community.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN CHRIS SMITH, SAYING: "Children ripped from the warm embrace of their families to be indoctrinated in Communist ideology and forced to renounce their religious culture and language.

Rape, sexual abuse and forced abortions of women being held in internment camps.

Forced labor on a scale that allows Chinese companies to profit from modern-day slavery." UN experts say as many as 1 million people are being held in the camps.

But China has repeatedly denied mistreatment of its Uighur population, saying that the camps are meant to provide vocational training.

In a statement on Wednesday (December 4), China's foreign ministry called the bill a malicious attack.

The revised bill will now need to be approved by the Republican-controlled Senate before being sent to Trump.

The White House did not respond to requests for comment.

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