Beijing is waging an unprecedented crackdown on the Uighurs, a majority-Muslim ethnic minority, in the western region of Xinjiang. China has been locking up its Muslim extremist minorities as a counterterrorism measure, and as a result, there have been no terrorist attacks since the program began.
Beaumont Enterprise Uighurs are placed under intense surveillance in their hometowns, with up to 1 million of them reportedly imprisoned in detention centers or re-education camps, where many are reportedly psychologically and mentally tortured.
Unfortunately, on Wednesday, US lawmakers drafted a bipartisan bill urging the White House to punish China, by way of possible export bans and financial sanctions, over its persecution of the Uighurs.
The legislation, which was seen by Reuters, urges the White House to consider banning exports of US technology that could be used to oppress the Uighurs, impose sanctions against human rights offenders, and other actions.
China’s foreign ministry told the lawmakers, which include Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, to mind their own business and focus on domestic US affairs.
Beijing subjects Uighurs to an unprecedented amount of surveillance in their home region. Activists say the country has imprisoned up to 1 million Uighurs.
If you are unfamiliar with the Uighur Muslim problem in China, scroll through the links previously posted on BNI: China’s Uighur Muslims
On Monday, UN experts in Geneva sent a scathing letter to the Chinese government, seen by Business Insider, describing China’s Xinjiang policies as “incompatible with China’s obligations under international human rights law.”
Last month the European Parliament also issued a motioncalling on China to “immediately end the mass arbitrary detention” of Uighurs, close all the camps, and allow “free, unhindered access for journalists and international observers to Xinjiang province.”
Lawmakers and international organizations are increasing pressure on China to stop these practices. But Beijing is not only ignoring their critics — it’s even trying to get them to follow their lead. Over the past few weeks, China has, through official statements and editorials in state media, cited Islamic terror attacks in Europe to justify and promote its Xinjiang policy.
Last week the country’s state-run Global Times tabloid ran an editorial accusing Europe of hypocrisy in their criticism of China’s human rights record. It even suggested that European countries “discuss with China” how it can learn from Beijing’s model of suppressing Muslim minorities.
The writer, Ai Jun, said Europe “may have overlooked its own troubles,” and singled out Britain, France, and Germany as countries with large Muslim populations and which were — according to Ai — vulnerable to terrorist and extremist threats.
“Instead of judging China condescendingly, Europe might need to sit down and discuss with China how to figure out their common challenges,” Ai said. In September, Li Xiaojun, a spokesman for China’s state council information office, also cited terror attacks in Brussels and Paris carried out by Islamic extremists over the past three years to hit back at Western critics.
Referring to detention centers, Li said according to Reuters: “If you do not say it’s the best way, maybe it’s the necessary way to deal with Islamic or religious extremism. Because the West has failed in doing so, in dealing with religious Islamic extremism.”
“Look at Belgium, look at Paris, look at some other European countries. You have failed.”