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senate Bill S. 3744

Should the U.S. Sanction Chinese Officials Unless They Stop the Mass Internment & Persecution of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang?

Argument in favor

The U.S. should take a stand against the Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of the Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities through the internment of a million or more in “political reeducation” & forced labor camps, and mass surveillance. The reports required by this bipartisan bill & potential sanctions would orient federal agencies toward strategies that could end the persecution diplomatically.

Abbi's Opinion
···
05/26/2020
I don’t think we have any room to talk but what is happening to the uygar is just as horrible as us ripping apart families and leaving in cages with no sanitation and getting deported without each other. How the hell is ANY family supposed to find each other after such treatment? Anyone that supports this should lose track of their families and see what it’s like.
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Eric's Opinion
···
05/26/2020
This administration going against someone persecuting muslims? They are more likely taking notes.
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OlderNWiser's Opinion
···
05/26/2020
Just as we attempted genocide on our First Nations, so China is attacking and imprisoning its Muslim population displaying more intense racism than we are practicing in the United States against Black People, our ownn Arabs and Muslims, and Brown People with continued persecution of first Nations people. Both countries seem to be looking for a scapegoat on which to blame all the horrific and terrifying events of the pandemic, economy, loss of jobs and general helplessness.It is never OK to name a scapegoat tonbegin genocide. Yes, of course we should sanction China. What they are doing is apalling.
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Argument opposed

The reports required by this bill & potential additional sanctions could further weaken America’s diplomatic relationship with China which is already strained because of the origin of the coronavirus pandemic in China, ongoing disputes over trade & territory in the South China Sea, the suppression of democracy in Hong Kong, and tensions over North Korea’s nuclear program.

jimK's Opinion
···
05/26/2020
Why now? This was being pushed by the House some time ago but the Senate could not be bothered. I agree that the persecution of Uyghur muslims in China is horrific and wrong. It was wrong last year and it will be still be wrong in the future. I feel that the Senate re-introduction of this Bill is political in nature, to add credence to the trump’s efforts to cast blame on everything and everyone else, except his inability to lead our country through the Covid crisis and the unwillingness of the trumpublican Senate to legislate anything that does not support their self-interests in some way, We need the world’s economic and scientific leaders to work cooperatively to manage this pandemic and to chart a world-wide economic recovery. The trump has put our country in a glass house with his egregious human rights abuses of Latino immigrants and we should be very careful about throwing stones at others. I suggest a House resolution as a way of formally expressing our country’s concerns - with the implicit prospect of enforcing sanctions in the future. Priorities first! Solve the biggest problems we currently have without starting new world problems just to make a political statement to help the trump.
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larubia's Opinion
···
05/26/2020
We should always strive to protect human rights, but first we need to protect the rights & lives of US citizens! PROTECT US! According to Forbes, “The super rich are a whole lot richer than they were two months ago. Twenty five of the wealthiest people on Forbes’ list of the world’s billionaires are worth a whopping $255 billion more than when the U.S. stock market hit a mid-pandemic low on March 23. “ Meanwhile the rest of us are out of work/income, working from home, or putting our lives on the line every day to go to work without adequate PPE, testing, tracing & quarantine in place. Over 100,000 have lost our lives! Get your priorities straight! Focus!!!
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TheDarkSide's Opinion
···
05/26/2020
Maybe we should instead be working on preventing another 100,103 deaths!
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What is Senate Bill S. 3744?

This bill — the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 — would aim to address the Chinese government’s human rights violations & persecution of Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic Turkic Muslim minorities 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 would list several findings about the persecution of the 13 million Uyghurs 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 at the direction of senior Chinese Communist Party officials. 

  • Detainees are subject to forced political indoctrination, torture, beatings, denial of religious, cultural, and linguistic freedoms and must demonstrate sufficient political loyalty to be released.

  • 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 — including those related to human rights & the prevention of torture which China is a party to.

  • Uyghurs & ethnic Kazakhs who’ve obtained permanent residence or citizenship in other countries have been threatened & harassed by Chinese officials. At least five journalists working for Radio Free Asia’s Uyghur service have detailed abuses against their families in Xinjiang because of their work exposing the Chinese Communist Party’s abusive practices.

This bill would explicitly link U.S. policy toward China to the situation in Xinjiang, including whether:
  • The internment of Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and members of other Muslim minority groups in internment camps has ended;
  • All political prisoners are released;
  • The use of mass surveillance and predictive policing to discriminate against & violate the human rights of members of specific ethnic groups has ceased and isn't evident in other parts of China; and
  • The Chinese government has ended the particularly severe restrictions of religious & cultural practice in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

The bill would urge the president to condemn these abuses, encourage China to close the internment camps & ensure human rights, and allow people inside the People’s Republic of China to reestablish contact with friends, loved ones, and associates outside the country. 

The bill would require the State Dept. to work with U.S. allies & partners through multilateral institutions & the international community more broadly to condemn the persecution in Xinjiang. The executive branch would also be encouraged to consider levying sanctions against senior Chinese officials in the Xinjiang region.

U.S. companies & individuals operating in Xinjiang would be required to certify in their public or financial filings that their commercial activities aren’t contributing to human rights violations in Xinjiang or elsewhere in China, and that their supply chains aren’t compromised by forced labor.

Several reports regarding various aspects of China’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang & the U.S. would be required by this bill, including reports about:

  • The imposition of financial & travel sanctions on foreign persons, including Chinese Communist Party officials, for human rights abuses against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.

  • Human rights abuses in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, including an assessment of the number of people detained in internment camps & forced labor camps; a description of conditions in the camp and the use of torture & other human rights abuses; the Chinese Communist Party’s methods used to “reeducate” detainees & government agencies involved with such reeducation; an assessment of mass surveillance by the CCP; the CCP’s efforts to forcibly return ethnic minorities to China; and U.S. diplomatic efforts with allies & partners to address human rights violations & protect asylum seekers.

  • Efforts to protect U.S. citizens & residents, including ethnic Uyghurs & Chinese nationals legally studying or working in the U.S., who’ve experienced harassment or intimidation within the U.S. by officials or agents of the Chinese government.

  • Security & economic implications of repression in the Xinjiang region, including its acquisition & development of internment & mass surveillance technologies, and the threats those technologies pose to the U.S.

  • Intelligence methods (detailed in a classified report to Congress) used to assess the scope & scale of the CCP’s use of mass detention & forced labor to persecute Uyghurs & ethnic minorities; gross human rights violations perpetrated in internment camps; and other CCP policies in Xinjiang that constitute gross violations of human rights. 

Impact

The Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities persecuted in Xinjiang; the Chinese government and its relations with the U.S.; DNI, FBI, the U.S. Agency for Global Media, and the State Dept.; and Congress.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 3744

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced this bill to counter the Chinese Communist Party’s “widespread and horrific human rights abuses” in the Xinjiang region, including the mass internment of more than one million Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities:

“The Chinese Government and Communist Party’s systematic, ongoing efforts to wipe out the ethnic and cultural identities of the Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang is horrific and will be a stain on humanity should we refuse to act. I thank my Senate colleagues for working together to send a clear message to Chinese officials responsible for egregious human rights abuses committed against the Uyghurs that they will be held accountable.”

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Bob Menendez (D-NJ), an original cosponsor of this bill, offered the following comment after the Senate unanimously passed this bill:

“Today’s action by the Senate sends a clear message that the United States will not stand by as millions of Uyghur Muslims continue to be unjustly imprisoned, subjected to a mass surveillance state, and forced into labor camps by Beijing’s autocratic regime. Enactment of this legislation to provide justice for the Uyghur people and others subject to China’s gross violations of human rights and possible crimes against humanity is long overdue.”

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch (R-ID), another original cosponsor of this bill, added:

“Today’s Senate passage of the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act is an important step in holding the Chinese Communist Party accountable for its severe human rights abuses in Xinjiang. China’s illegal detainment of at least a million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in prison camps is reprehensible and inexcusable.”

This legislation passed the Senate by unanimous consent on May 14, 2020, and has the support of 66 bipartisan cosponsors, including 33 Republicans, 31 Democrats, and two Independents who caucus as Democrats.

The Senate passed an earlier version of this bill by unanimous consent in September 2019. That bill was subsequently amended by the House and passed on a 407-1 vote in December 2019. 

In October 2019, the Trump administration imposed visa restrictions on Chinese officials involved in the mass surveillance and detention of minority groups, in addition to blacklisting 28 companies or entities connected to the persecution. At the time, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called China's abuses a "brutal, systematic campaign to erase religion and culture in Xinjiang."


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: From an article titled "用情感敲开心灵大门 用说理舒缓群众情绪", published by the wechat MP platform account "Xinjiang Juridical Administration", via baidu baijiahao platform archive https://baijiahao.baidu.com/s?id=1564669932542581 - Original image creator: 牙生 / Fair Use)

AKA

Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020

Official Title

A bill to condemn gross human rights violations of ethnic Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang, and calling for an end to arbitrary detention, torture, and harassment of these communities inside and outside China.

bill Progress


  • EnactedJune 17th, 2020
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The house Passed May 27th, 2020
    Roll Call Vote 413 Yea / 1 Nay
  • The senate Passed May 14th, 2020
    Passed by Voice Vote
    IntroducedMay 14th, 2020

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!
    I don’t think we have any room to talk but what is happening to the uygar is just as horrible as us ripping apart families and leaving in cages with no sanitation and getting deported without each other. How the hell is ANY family supposed to find each other after such treatment? Anyone that supports this should lose track of their families and see what it’s like.
    Like (104)
    Follow
    Share
    Why now? This was being pushed by the House some time ago but the Senate could not be bothered. I agree that the persecution of Uyghur muslims in China is horrific and wrong. It was wrong last year and it will be still be wrong in the future. I feel that the Senate re-introduction of this Bill is political in nature, to add credence to the trump’s efforts to cast blame on everything and everyone else, except his inability to lead our country through the Covid crisis and the unwillingness of the trumpublican Senate to legislate anything that does not support their self-interests in some way, We need the world’s economic and scientific leaders to work cooperatively to manage this pandemic and to chart a world-wide economic recovery. The trump has put our country in a glass house with his egregious human rights abuses of Latino immigrants and we should be very careful about throwing stones at others. I suggest a House resolution as a way of formally expressing our country’s concerns - with the implicit prospect of enforcing sanctions in the future. Priorities first! Solve the biggest problems we currently have without starting new world problems just to make a political statement to help the trump.
    Like (124)
    Follow
    Share
    We should always strive to protect human rights, but first we need to protect the rights & lives of US citizens! PROTECT US! According to Forbes, “The super rich are a whole lot richer than they were two months ago. Twenty five of the wealthiest people on Forbes’ list of the world’s billionaires are worth a whopping $255 billion more than when the U.S. stock market hit a mid-pandemic low on March 23. “ Meanwhile the rest of us are out of work/income, working from home, or putting our lives on the line every day to go to work without adequate PPE, testing, tracing & quarantine in place. Over 100,000 have lost our lives! Get your priorities straight! Focus!!!
    Like (69)
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    We don’t have any moral high ground to stand on in this argument. Anybody paid attention to how we treat the First Peoples and African Americans lately? We got nothing to say that can’t be immediately turned right back at us.
    Like (52)
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    Maybe we should instead be working on preventing another 100,103 deaths!
    Like (34)
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    This administration going against someone persecuting muslims? They are more likely taking notes.
    Like (34)
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    The US needs to focus on Covid-19 and not be distracted by the internal affairs of other countries! Especially bills looking to find fault with China which is the real aim of this bill along with distracting from mismanagement of Covid-19 by this administration.
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    We must protect human rights.
    Like (28)
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    Just as we attempted genocide on our First Nations, so China is attacking and imprisoning its Muslim population displaying more intense racism than we are practicing in the United States against Black People, our ownn Arabs and Muslims, and Brown People with continued persecution of first Nations people. Both countries seem to be looking for a scapegoat on which to blame all the horrific and terrifying events of the pandemic, economy, loss of jobs and general helplessness.It is never OK to name a scapegoat tonbegin genocide. Yes, of course we should sanction China. What they are doing is apalling.
    Like (25)
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    OMG! Copied from above, "The bill would urge the president to condemn these abuses, encourage China to close the internment camps & ensure human rights, and allow people inside the People’s Republic of China to reestablish contact with friends, loved ones, and associates outside the country." Hey! WE LIVE IN A GLASS HOUSE! THAT LANGUAGE (urge the president my ass) NEEDS TO BE REMOVED OR PASS A GOD DAMN BILL TO (urge the president) TO CLOSE THE INTERNMENT CAMPS & ENSURE HUMAN RIGHTS, AND ALLOW PEOPLE INSIDE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA TO REESTABLISH CONTACT WITH FRIENDS, LOVED ONES, AND ASSOCIATES INSIDE THE COUNTRY.
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    I can’t say Yes because our government under Trump & Stephen Miller are doing just as bad or worse than China - putting people in cages separated from family and no sanitation- sending them to countries they didn’t come from & where they don’t know anyone!!! Also Trump’s corporation pals have people at a point where they don’t make enough to live, no health insurance, no sick days or maternity days - worse than some 3rd world countries. WE ARE A 3RD WORLD COUNTRY!! Creating HATE in our country for people of different ethnicities or because Trump makes some derogatory comments about a person or group of people such as Asians no matter what derivation they are which seems to give people who assign themselves with Trump the gall to mistreat, call out, or do whatever to those people when THEY ARE THE ONES WHO WILL NOT FOLLOW THE CDC RULES TO PROTECT OTHERS, NOT TO MENTION THEMSELVES.
    Like (21)
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    Average AMERICAN deaths per day from COVID19: 991.3 https://www.statista.com/statistics/1109281/covid-19-daily-deaths-compared-to-all-causes/ Average American deaths per day from the Civil War: 504 https://www.facinghistory.org/resource-library/statistics-civil-war I realize these are human rights violations that must be addressed. But....could we possibly hold off long enough to provide the resources needed so more Americans survive this pandemic. Maybe, just maybe, legislators could stop throwing stones while we are all trying to survive in a glass house⁉️
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    I feel that it’s incredibly hard to take the moral high ground on this while we treat immigrants as subhuman. It’s not like we shouldn’t sanction China for this; it’s just that I wonder how seriously China will take this while we continue to deport woman and children to unstable and dangerous countries where they either have no family or are directly threatened with physical violence, or in which our policies directly split families apart. I urge you to confront your colleagues with this issue, and demand that we first hold the trump administration to account for the atrocities they have committed and continue to commit against immigrants crossing our southern border.
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    Should they sanction us 'cause young black men are gunned down in our streets or throttled by policemen?
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    Why now?? What about all the migrants and children our own country has in "camps". Once things have settled down with the political czar we have in office then of course inhumane treatment by any government should be looked at but we should start with our OWN COUNTRY first!!! Our government right now during this crisis is STILL trying to take children from their parents by giving them a sick choice of signing them over to cover what they've already done! Fix our CAMPS first!
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    What’s happening in China is wrong. But what’s happening in this country is just as wrong. This administration has no business pointing fingers at anybody else.
    Like (10)
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    The United States needs to address its own human rights abuses before they impose any penalties on other countries. While what China is doing is wrong, so is the treatment of asylum seekers by the US, for instance. The US has no credibility on the issue.
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    Not our problem. It’s the United Nations problem.
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    FU, ‘Comrade’ Brady! Distract, distract, distract! Your ‘actions’ towards the treatment of immigrants at our border and your complete federal level inaction shows your hypocrisy along with your worthless trumpublican, Putin and Moscow Mitch “lickin” turncoat ‘Goons Of Putin’ party! Can’t wait for November!
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    Interesting that we want to sanction another country for exactly what we do...their imprisoned Muslims...our imprisoned and separated migrant families. Hypocrites all
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