Washington — Congress overwhelmingly approved a bill Tuesday aimed at pressuring China over aon ethnic Muslims in the far west of the country, legislation that follows a similar measure over human rights abuses in Hong Kong that . The House of Representatives voted 407-1 to approve the Uighur Human Rights Policy Act, which has already passed the Senate.
The legislationof more than 1 million Uighurs, Kazakhs and other minorities in so-called , where they are subjected to political indoctrination, torture, beatings, and food deprivation, as well as denial of religious and linguistic freedom.
It would require the State Department to evaluate whether Chinese officials would meet thefor their roles in the crackdown in the Xinjian region.
"The Chinese Government and Communist Party is working to systematically wipe out the ethnic and cultural identities of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang," said Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, one of the backers of the legislation. "Today, Congress took another important step to hold Chinese officials accountable for egregious and ongoing human rights abuses."
Last month, Congress passed — and President Donald Trump signed — legislation supporting anti-government protests in Hong Kong. China said Monday that it will suspend U.S. military ship and aircraft visits to the semi-autonomous city and sanction several American pro-democracy and human rights groups in response to the move.