Amid already tense US-China relations, Washington announced on May 23 that it would impose sanctions on nine Chinese government institutes over ‘human rights violations’ and ‘abuses’ against the minorities.
The United States Department of Commerce said that the nine parties were ‘complicit’ in violations that are allegedly committed under the mainland’s “campaign of repression” along with the mass detention of Uighurs in China’s secluded western Xinjiang region.
US Department of Commerce said, “These nine parties are complicit in human rights violations and abuses committed in China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR).”
US lashes out at China
Earlier United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had also voiced his concern over a bill introduced in the Chinese parliament that limited Hong Kong’s autonomy and called it “disastrous”. Amid already strenuous US-China relations, Pompeo lashed out on the Asian superpower and said the newly proposed legislation would be a “death knell” for Hong Kong’s autonomy.
This came after the spokesperson of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Zhang Yesui said that this year’s Chinese parliament session would review the proposal titled, “Establishment and Improvement of the Legal System and Implementation Mechanism for the Safeguarding of National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.”
“The United States strongly urges Beijing to reconsider its disastrous proposal, abide by its international obligations, and respect Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy,” said Mike Pompeo while speaking to international media.
According to the Chinese diplomat, Hong Kong can not be separated from China and ‘in light of new circumstances and need’ the NPC has to exercise its power in the constitution for the new proposal which is ‘highly necessary’. However, the UK, Australia and Canada have issued a joint statement on May 23 to express their concern over the move.