Selin ATAY-TDO-China has reacted sharply to approval of a bill by the US House of Representatives to counter what it calls the arbitrary detention of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters that the bill grossly interferes in China's internal affairs and that the country is strongly indignant about and firmly opposed to it. Hua said the Chinese government and people are determined about safeguarding national sovereignty, and that the US attempt to contain China's growth under the pretext of Xinjiang-related issues will never succeed.

The U.S.’ Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019 deliberately smears the human rights condition in Xinjiang, slanders China's efforts in de-radicalization and counter-terrorism, and viciously attacks the Chinese government's Xinjiang policy, said Hua.

"We state our position clearly to the U.S. that as Xinjiang is part of China, its affairs are purely domestic affairs that allow no foreign interference," she added.  It also violates international law and norms governing international relations and interferes in China's internal affairs, she added

"We urge the U.S. to correct its mistakes at once, prevent this bill from becoming law, and stop using Xinjiang-related issues to interfere in China's internal affairs. China will take further actions according to how the situation develops," Hua warned.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill, meant to pressure Beijing over its actions and crackdown in the Muslim-majority Xinjiang region. The legislation condemns the detention of more than 1 million Uighurs, Kazakhs and other minorities in “reeducation” camps and accuses China of “systematically discriminating" against Uighurs by denying them civil and political rights, including freedom of expression, religion, movement, and a fair trial. 

"As with the 'Hong Kong democracy and Human Rights Act' passed by Congress, this bill sends a simple but powerful message to the Chinese Communist Party that power cannot be sustained at the expense of people's rights without significant consequences, " said House of Representatives Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy." 

The bill still needs passage by the Senate and the president’s signature to become law.

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