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house Bill H.R. 1025

Does the U.S. Need to Prohibit Advanced Technology Exports That Could Aid China’s Persecution of Uighur Muslims?

Argument in favor

The Chinese government is engaged in ongoing and severe human rights violations against Turkic Muslims, including Uighurs, in the Xinjiang region that feature an Orwellian surveillance state and mass detention in “political reeducation” camps. The U.S. should take diplomatic and economic steps to end the persecution in Xinjiang.

Francisco's Opinion
···
08/24/2019
It is extremely hard to favor correcting human rights abuses when we are the BIG BULLY of the world as well as the European successor of colonialism and institutionalized racism at home and abroad! But measures should be taken to stop the internment camps in China as well as abolish ICE and the crimes against humanity being perpetrated under the Trump Administration! The marginalization pf our cultural nations which include The Indigenous Nations and Puerto Rico is deplorable!! The cash bail system and privatization of correctional facilities, the disenfranchisement of people of color, the voter suppression and gerrymandering of districts , all point to a POT Calling the KETTLE BLACK!! But we should start an honest dialogue nationally so that one day NO PARENT IS AFRAID That his or her child is in danger when they leave home!! America needs to learn to celebrate our cultural differences and understand that we must take responsibility for our feelings!! No one else should carry the burden of our own misgivings or prejudices!! America is great because thus far our collective conscience has defeated the ignorance and the hate; and we have overcome the perniciousness of greed! Trump has fanned the flames of that ignorance and hatred!! We must defeat him and his minions more wisely and completely this time!!
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burrkitty's Opinion
···
08/24/2019
We have a beautiful glass house. It’s huge.
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Lota's Opinion
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08/24/2019
Stop Giving Saudi Arabia weapons to wage war in Yemen.
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Argument opposed

Congress shouldn’t try to tie the hands of the executive branch as it engages in diplomacy with China. The reports required by this bill could further weaken the U.S.-China diplomatic relationship amid an ongoing trade dispute and tensions over North Korea’s nuclear program.

jimK's Opinion
···
08/24/2019
Since I was not clear, I fully support legislation which condemns/sanctions any government’s oppression of any group of people based upon race, religion or heritage. However, I do not support this legislation as a valid way to so. So, no. The connection between our high tech exports and their use to persecute Uighur Muslims as at best tenuous and at worse counterproductive. What tech could this possibly refer to? It is way too open ended and way to prone to abuse. I don’t think you would intend shutting down manufacturing of consumer products in China that might also use the “technologies” that someone might consider blocking. The mistreatment of any people due to their race or religion should certainly be condemned, including our mistreatment of Latino immigrants. It is hard to take the moral high ground and throw stones at others, when our own government cannot get it’s own act together. Sorry, this seems more like an election year stunt to promote a an ultimately impracticable bill with a nice title and purpose, so you can claim that you proposed useful legislation, when you actually have not. ... ... Please put some legislation together that directly addresses China’s human rights abuses, without making some roundabout, tenuous and unclearly justified link to “high tech exports which are used” to enable those abuses. I truly hate political double-speak.
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Calvin's Opinion
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08/24/2019
Seriously we don’t even protect our own citizens and their right to vote.
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Deidre's Opinion
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08/24/2019
Since we’re persecuting Mexican and Central American immigrants ( and citizens and veterans ) we should shut up and stand down until we clean our own house
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What is House Bill H.R. 1025?

This bill — known as the UIGHUR Act — would aim to counter the mass arbitrary detention of Turkic Muslims, including Uighurs, in “political reeducation” camps by the Chinese government in the Xinjiang region. It would require federal agencies to produce reports related to the persecution in Xinjiang (described in greater detail below), block exports of technologies that could further that persecution, consider imposing sanctions on officials & entities involved, and pressure the Chinese government to stop the repression through various diplomatic efforts.

The bill begins by listing several findings about the persecution of the 13 million Uighurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, including:

  • That the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has estimated that roughly 1 million ethnic or religious minorities are being arbitrarily detained in “political reeducation” camps.

  • That the arbitrary detention of persons based on their religious or ethnic background, without due process or credible individualized allegations of wrongdoing are a severe violation of international norms and standards.

The State Dept. would be directed to advocate for the release of detainees, an end to the use of “political reeducation” camps, and the immediate cessation of government persecution against the Uighurs and predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in meetings with the Chinese government. The agency, along with other federal agencies, would conduct a study to document the systematic detention that would also detail detainment facility locations, estimates of the number of people detained, a timeline of the escalation in discrimination against Turkic Muslims, and interviews from former detainees (to the greatest extent possible).

The bill would require the executive branch to conduct advocacy at the United Nations, with Central Asian governments, and other appropriate foreign governments to condemn the persecution of Turkic Muslims.

The executive branch would be encouraged to consider levying sanctions against senior Chinese officials in the Xinjiang region under the Magnitsky Act.

Federal agencies would be restricted from using a foreign person or entity involved with the mass detention in Xinjiang for procuring goods or services under a federal contract. Exports to China or entities involved in the persecution in Xinjiang that could be used in mass surveillance — such as machine learning technology, artificial intelligence, or biometric technology — would be prohibited. Entities looking to engage in transactions with Xinjiang authorities would have to request approval from the Commerce Dept. and could only receive a waiver if China stops its persecution or a specific transaction would undermine U.S. national security.

The bill would also state that it’s U.S. policy to oppose intimidation of journalists and call on China to allow free movement of journalists and their families throughout Xinjiang. Radio Free Asia would be directed to overcome the jamming of its radio signal by China and expand its availability in the Uighur language. The U.S. Agency for Global Media would be directed to applaud reporters who in their independent journalistic discretion pursue reporting related to human rights in Xinjiang and recognize the importance of widely distributed news content regarding human rights issues in Xinjiang.

The bill’s full title is the Uighur Intervention and Global Humanitarian Unified Response (UIGHUR) Act of 2019.

Impact

The Uighurs and other predominantly Turkic Muslim ethnic minorities persecuted in Xinjiang; the Chinese government and its relations with the U.S.; relevant federal agencies; and Congress.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1025

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) reintroduced this bill to mobilize U.S. diplomatic and economic tools to stop the persecution of the Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities by China in the Xinjiang region:

“Beijing thinks we will turn a blind eye as it targets Turkic Muslims around the world. We must prove them wrong. By preventing companies from profiting off of human rights violations and mandating increased transparency, this legislation will send more than a powerful message. It will also create meaningful tools for the United States to hold China accountable.”

Original cosponsor Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) added:

“Cutting-edge technologies should be used to lift up, not oppress humanity. The existence of mass detention centers - renamed ‘political re-education’ camps - in China, is unacceptable. We must hold the perpetrators of these gross human rights violations accountable.”

The Trump administration drafted a policy sanctioning Chinese officials and companies involved in the internment camps, but it failed to get through an interagency review process because of concerns by the Treasury Dept. that it could have an adverse impact on trade talks. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hasn’t indicated whether the U.S. intends to pursue sanctions for the persecution in Xinjiang.

This legislation has the support of 23 bipartisan cosponsors, including 18 Democrats and five Republicans.


Of Note: Human rights experts say that between 800,000 to 2 million Muslims have been detained indefinitely in reeducation camps since April 2017 because the Chinese Communist Party views them as a potential extremist or separatist threat. Detainees are interned without due process in the camps, where they are subjected to communist propaganda, forced to renounce Islam, and in some cases are beaten and tortured.

And the crackdown extends beyond the reeducation camps as well, with political and cultural indoctrination occurring in schools and authorities using compulsory collection of biometric data (like DNA & voice samples), artificial intelligence, big data, and movement restrictions to control the population. A Human Rights Watch report notes that the “human rights violations in Xinjiang today are of a scope and scale not seen in China since the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution”, and explains the motivation behind it:

“Authorities have sought to justify harsh treatment in the name of maintaining stability and security in Xinjiang, and to “strike at” those deemed terrorists and extremists in a “precise” and “in-depth” manner. Xinjiang officials claim the root of these problems is the “problematic ideas” of Turkic Muslims. These ideas include what authorities describe as extreme religious dogmas, but also any non-Han Chinese sense of identity, be it Islamic, Turkic, Uyghur, or Kazakh. Authorities insist that such beliefs and affinities must be “corrected” or “eradicated.”


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Claudia Himmelreich via Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

AKA

UIGHUR Act of 2019

Official Title

To counter the mass arbitrary detention of Turkic Muslims, including Uighurs, within the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
      Immigration and Citizenship
    IntroducedFebruary 6th, 2019
    It is extremely hard to favor correcting human rights abuses when we are the BIG BULLY of the world as well as the European successor of colonialism and institutionalized racism at home and abroad! But measures should be taken to stop the internment camps in China as well as abolish ICE and the crimes against humanity being perpetrated under the Trump Administration! The marginalization pf our cultural nations which include The Indigenous Nations and Puerto Rico is deplorable!! The cash bail system and privatization of correctional facilities, the disenfranchisement of people of color, the voter suppression and gerrymandering of districts , all point to a POT Calling the KETTLE BLACK!! But we should start an honest dialogue nationally so that one day NO PARENT IS AFRAID That his or her child is in danger when they leave home!! America needs to learn to celebrate our cultural differences and understand that we must take responsibility for our feelings!! No one else should carry the burden of our own misgivings or prejudices!! America is great because thus far our collective conscience has defeated the ignorance and the hate; and we have overcome the perniciousness of greed! Trump has fanned the flames of that ignorance and hatred!! We must defeat him and his minions more wisely and completely this time!!
    Like (48)
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    Since I was not clear, I fully support legislation which condemns/sanctions any government’s oppression of any group of people based upon race, religion or heritage. However, I do not support this legislation as a valid way to so. So, no. The connection between our high tech exports and their use to persecute Uighur Muslims as at best tenuous and at worse counterproductive. What tech could this possibly refer to? It is way too open ended and way to prone to abuse. I don’t think you would intend shutting down manufacturing of consumer products in China that might also use the “technologies” that someone might consider blocking. The mistreatment of any people due to their race or religion should certainly be condemned, including our mistreatment of Latino immigrants. It is hard to take the moral high ground and throw stones at others, when our own government cannot get it’s own act together. Sorry, this seems more like an election year stunt to promote a an ultimately impracticable bill with a nice title and purpose, so you can claim that you proposed useful legislation, when you actually have not. ... ... Please put some legislation together that directly addresses China’s human rights abuses, without making some roundabout, tenuous and unclearly justified link to “high tech exports which are used” to enable those abuses. I truly hate political double-speak.
    Like (32)
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    Seriously we don’t even protect our own citizens and their right to vote.
    Like (15)
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    We have a beautiful glass house. It’s huge.
    Like (11)
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    Stop Giving Saudi Arabia weapons to wage war in Yemen.
    Like (9)
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    Last I checked China and Turkey are on good standing with each other so let them sort out their own issues. America has it's own more pressing issues to fix. Border security, American homelessness, corruption in the VA, violence and indoctrination in public schools, radical groups being supported by Democratic leadership, regulations keeping Americans from good jobs ect. Let's start fixing our own corrupt broken system.
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    All inhumane activities should be acted against. Including ours against blacks and immigrants. However, Until we can clean house at home, don’t point fingers at any other country. The means you-#45, Moscow Mitch, idiotic Graham, blowhard Hatch and my nemeses- tillis and burr
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    It’s bad enough that taxpayers are forced to be a party to the concentration camps here, I don’t want to be a party to the camps in China or pretty much anywhere.
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    Any advanced technology to China should be prohibited. They have proven that they will just copy and exploit it.
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    Nice write up Francisco! I agree fully with the content of this post. It is extremely hard to favor correcting human rights abuses when we are the BIG BULLY of the world as well as the European successor of colonialism and institutionalized racism at home and abroad! But measures should be taken to stop the internment camps in China as well as abolish ICE and the crimes against humanity being perpetrated under the Trump Administration! The marginalization pf our cultural nations which include The Indigenous Nations and Puerto Rico is deplorable!! The cash bail system and privatization of correctional facilities, the disenfranchisement of people of color, the voter suppression and gerrymandering of districts , all point to a POT Calling the KETTLE BLACK!! But we should start an honest dialogue nationally so that one day NO PARENT IS AFRAID That his or her child is in danger when they leave home!! America needs to learn to celebrate our cultural differences and understand that we must take responsibility for our feelings!! No one else should carry the burden of our own misgivings or prejudices!! America is great because thus far our collective conscience has defeated the ignorance and the hate; and we have overcome the perniciousness of greed! Trump has fanned the flames of that ignorance and hatred!! We must defeat him and his minions more wisely and completely this time!!
    Like (7)
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    China, Israel, Burma, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Venezuela, Gautama and the USA are all guilty of human rights violations.
    Like (5)
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    RadicalModerate, They are all also home to our 45th President BFFs. And yet, neither party is doing anything to stop the chaos. Trump remains free to infect every layer of our democracy: just so long as they stay in power. -NoHedges PS Sorry JimK, I need to stand with the humans on this one. We must make it our “prime directive”. The lives of people must come 1st. Besides limited contact between Trump and his BFF’s is an extra layer to our National Security.
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    We should prohibit all tech transfers to China and Russia. Our security and the security of anyone that opposes them should be paramount
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    Being in a state founded by people fleeing religious persecution, this one seems like a no brainer.
    Like (4)
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    Uighurs are human beings. We should never incentivize mass incarceration of humans in the US or abroad. Period.
    Like (4)
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    Since we’re persecuting Mexican and Central American immigrants ( and citizens and veterans ) we should shut up and stand down until we clean our own house
    Like (4)
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    I'm not in favor of in any way helping Muslims. The Koran tells you who they really are. The terrorism, beheadings, violence directed toward even their own family and their whole culture, makes them incompatible with the rest of the world. They are dangerous.
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    Not until we apply this policy to all states that violate the basic human rights of their citizens as define by our bill of rights. If you want our advanced technology, you have to live by our moral standards in order to be trusted with those advanced technologies. Many of the Muslim dominated states, that we sell to, violate the basic human rights of women, homosexuals and non-Muslims. Slavery, to this day, is widely inflicted on women and children all over the Muslim parts of Africa. West African slavery lives on, 400 years after transatlantic trade began - Reuters https://www.reuters.com/article/us-africa-slavery-nigeria/west-african-slavery-lives-on-400-years-after-transatlantic-trade-began-idUSKCN1UX1NF
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    It is wrong to see Muslims persecuted the world over. Religion has caused more hurt, more wars, more emotional damage than just about anything else. Stop using whatever God you follow as a reason to hate.
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    We are a nation that separates children from parents and jails them. Trump, of all people, is going to be the moral watch dog of a group of people within China’s society? What political hypocrites are we! We have a despot leader who failed in his Tariff War - it’s enough!
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