The House of Representatives introduced a bipartisan bill Wednesday that requires President Joe Biden to come up with a plan to address potential genocide of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China, Axios reported.
The bill, HR 3306, was introduced by Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., and co-sponsored by Rep. Thomas Suozzi, D-N.Y., and now goes to the Foreign Affairs and Judiciary committees for consideration, according to the congress.gov website.
The text of the proposed bill was not available on the site.
The Uyghurs make up about 12 million people who live in the XUAR in the northwestern part of China and are mostly Muslim, speaking their own language and being more culturally and ethnically close to central Asian nations, according to a BBC report.
In January, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called out the Chinese Communist Party’s use of internment camps, forced labor, and forced sterilization of more than 1 million Muslim minorities, including the Uyghurs, in the XUAR as “genocide” and “crimes against humanity.”
“After careful examination of the available facts, I have determined that since at least March 2017, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), under the direction and control of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), has committed crimes against humanity against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other members of ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang,” Pompeo said in an Axios article Jan. 19.
A March Congressional-Executive Commission on China report documented many of the abuses Pompeo described.
“In the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), the Chinese Communist Party has implemented a campaign of repression and control that, according to scholars and rights groups, constitutes crimes against humanity,” the report said. “Experts have documented a large network of mass internment camps in the XUAR in which authorities are said to have arbitrarily detained up to 1.8 million individuals from predominantly Muslim ethnic minority groups including Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and Hui.”
China has denied the allegations but did assert that crackdowns against Muslims were warranted to “prevent terrorism” and to seek out extremists.
It is the Uyghurs, they say, that are “waging a violent campaign for an independent state by plotting bombings, sabotage, and civic unrest.”
As far as the reports of detainment camps and the sterilization of Uyghur women to suppress the population, the Chinese government calls the claims “baseless” and “fabricated,” according to the BBC article.
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