Chinese official media excoriated the United States and called for harsh reprisals in editorials on Thursday after the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation requiring a stronger response to Beijing’s treatment of its Uighur Muslim minority, CNBC reported.
The commentaries follow warnings from China on Wednesday that the legislation could affect bilateral cooperation, including a near-term deal to end the two countries’ trade war.
A front-page editorial in the ruling Communist Party’s People’s Daily newspaper said the passage of the U.S. legislation “harbors evil intent and is extremely sinister”. “Underestimating the determination and will of the Chinese people is doomed to fail,” it said.
By a vote of 407 to 1, the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday approved the Uighur bill, which would require the Trump administration to toughen its response to China’s crackdown in Xinjiang, a region in China’s far west.
The bill still has to be approved by the Republican-controlled Senate before being sent to U.S. President Donald Trump to sign into law, CNBC added.
The White House has yet to say whether Trump would sign or veto the bill, which contains a provision allowing the president to waive sanctions if he determines that to be in the national interest. UN experts and activists say China has detained possibly one million Uighurs in mass detention camps in Xinjiang.
China says the camps are part of an anti-terror crackdown and are providing vocational training. It denies any mistreatment of Uighurs.