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Trump signs anti-communist human rights bill as China makes threats

President Trump sent a harsh message to Chinese communist leaders today: Release the Uyghurs in concentration camps or face individual sanctions on the Chinese people involved in the camps, including top communists.

In another tough measure that seeks to isolate China’s rulers from the rest of the world, Trump today signed the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 which gives the president the “specified authority to impose sanctions on certain foreign persons.”

According to Reuters, China has responded that “countermeasures” will be employed by the regime against the U.S. because of the law.

“We again urge the U.S. side to immediately correct its mistakes and stop using this Xinjiang-related law to harm China’s interests and interfere in China’s internal affairs,” China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement according to Reuters.

China’s official Twitter account for the foreign ministry eschewed the usual over-the-top rhetoric and was rather restrained.

@MFA_China tweeted: “Xinjiang affairs are China’s internal affairs that allow no foreign interference. We urge the US to stop using the Uighur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 to harm China’s interests. Otherwise, China will resolutely fight back, and the US will bear all the consequences.”

Under China’s communist President Xi, the country has accelerated its persecution of religious minorities, including ethnic Uyghurs — who are Muslim—as wells as Christians and Falun Gong.

UN officials say over a million Uyghurs are in concentration camps, but estimates range upwards to three million prisoners interred. The communists claim that the camps are vocational training camps.

In December, a group of U.S. Senators and House members, under the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China, sent a letter to the administration urging it to impose sanctions on Chinese leaders including the regional “Community Communist Party Secretary, as well as other senior party leaders who have had a role in setting and implementing China’s ethnic and religious policies,” which includes concentration camps.  

The letter said that Chinese President Xi, in private speeches to party members, declared that the internees have a “virus” in their thought that must be “eliminated.”

Last year, an international tribunal said that Chinese leaders are running a billion-dollar per year forced organ harvesting and transplant program that preys on Falun Gong and Muslim Uyghurs and relies on the prison and concentration camp system for organs.

Reports have also surfaced of “gene washing,” where Han Chinese men go to Uyghur houses while the men are detained and sleep with Uyghur women.

The government euphemistically calls it the “Pair Up and Become Family” program.

In addition, the camps have been used for forced labor for over 4,000 companies, including big, brand name companies common in the U.S., according to a report by the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

“The report said major brands, including Coca-Cola, Patagonia and Nike, are suspected of directly or indirectly relying on forced labor. The commission relied on outside experts, satellite imagery, official reports and accounts from The Associated Press and other media organizations.”    

Under the just-signed law, companies will face new restrictions in the U.S. from such labor.

PHOTO: AP Photo/Susan Walsh

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