Trump Considers Punishing China For Human Rights Violations

Evarado Alatorre
Setiembre 14, 2018

Alluding to reports of human rights violations in other regions of China, Bachelet called on Beijing to allow United Nations monitors all across China.

Current and former American officials say the Trump administration is weighing the possibility of sanctioning Chinese senior officials and companies for the detention of hundreds of thousands of Muslims in internment camps, the New York Times reports.

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

Multiple reports claim that at least one million Uighurs and other members of Muslim minority groups in the country's northwest have been detained in indoctrination camps where they are forced to denounce Islam and profess loyalty to the Communist Party.

However, the New York Times report said discussions about how to deal with China over the abuses by White House, Treasury, and State Department officials, had been underway for months. "We're not going to preview any sanctions that may or may not happen".

"China consistently resolutely opposes the United States using Xinjiang-related issues to interfere in China's internal affairs", Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Geng Shuang (耿爽) told a daily news briefing.

China has defended their crackdown in the region, saying that Islamist militants are plotting attacks in Xinjiang and are considered a serious threat.

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The rights watchdog said that 1 million people are being held in detention camps, where Turkic Muslims are being forced to learn Mandarin Chinese, sing praises of the Chinese Communist Party, and memorize rules applicable primarily to Turkic Muslims. "They may be subjected to solitary confinement, not be allowed to eat for a certain period, or required to stand for 24-hour periods, among other punishments", said HRW researcher Maya Wang.

Geng was referring to a report from the group on Monday that said rights violations in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region are of a scope and scale not seen in the country since the Cultural Revolution.

On Monday, the new United Nations Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet became the latest high profile global figure to speak out against alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

This would be one of the first times the administration would take action against China economically for mistreating Chinese Muslims.

Officials from the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said various reports from the region indicate that Muslims are "being treated as enemies of the state exclusively on the basis of their ethno-religious identity".

According to a 117-page report published over the weekend, the Chinese government conducted "mass arbitrary detention, torture and mistreatment" of Uighur Turks in the region.

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