A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers is urging President Donald Trump to end a crackdown in China that is targeting Muslims in the country’s northwest.
The group proposed legislation on Wednesday that would urge Trump to condemn “gross violations” of human rights in the Xinjiang region, where the UN estimates that as many as 1 million Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim minorities are being held in arbitrary detention. It would call on Trump to press his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to close the “political re-education camps” immediately.
The legislation, proposed by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, would also support an existing push for sanctions against Xinjiang Communist Party chief Chen Quanguo and other officials under the Magnitsky Act, which would prevent Chen from entering the U.S. and freeze any assets he has in U.S. banks.
Other sanctions raised for consideration by the proposed act include a ban on sales or provision of U.S.-made goods or services to Xinjiang state agents and the barring of certain Chinese entities — including the Xinjiang police bureau — from purchasing U.S.-made equipment that could be used for surveillance.
The bipartisan congressional commission monitors human rights and the rule of law in China.
Chinese authorities have denied that the internment camps exist but say petty criminals are sent to “employment training centers.” On Tuesday, the Xinjiang government revised legislation to officially permit the use of “education and training centers” to reform “people influenced by extremism.”