US Congress condemns China for treatment of Uighurs
December 4, 2019
A US bill that describes Beijing's treatment of Muslim minorities as "gross violations" of human rights has been overwhelmingly supported. China has refuted the claims, saying they are merely trying to combat terrorism.
Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, told her colleagues prior to the vote: "Today the human dignity and human rights of the Uighur community are under threat from Beijing's barbarous actions, which are an outrage to the collective conscience of the world."
Congress "is taking a critical step to counter Beijing's horrific human rights abuses against Uighurs," Pelosi continued, before adding, "America is watching."
The legislative measure sparked a furious response from Beijing.
"We urge the US to immediately correct its mistakes, prevent the aforementioned Xinjiang-related bill from becoming law, and stop using the Xinjiang-related issue to interfere in China's internal affairs," a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in a statement.
"China will respond according to the development of the situation," spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.
Hua said the measure smeared China's attempts to fight terrorism.
"Xinjiang-related issues are not issues of human rights, ethnicity or religion, but issues related to anti-terrorism and anti-separatism," Hua said, adding that China's actions in Xinjiang had prevented any terrorist attack from happening in the past three years.