President Donald Trump signed a bill that allows imposing sanctions against Chinese officials for harassing Uyghurs and other Muslims in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. This was reported by Reuters on June 17.
The new bill is designed to increase pressure on Beijing by introducing sanctions against Chinese officials, such as members of the Communist Party, which is responsible for government policy in Xinjiang.
Before that, the bill was approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate. The author of the document was Republican Senator Marco Rubio. The sanctions imply, among other things, denial of visas and freezing of property located in the U.S. territory.
At the end of May, the US Department of Commerce blacklisted 33 companies and organizations from China. The U.S. authorities accused them of human rights violations, as well as links to arms development. In particular, nine organizations that, according to the U.S. authorities, are involved in harassment of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in China, fell under restrictive measures.
Relations between the US and China deteriorated amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. President Donald Trump has repeatedly stated that Beijing concealed information about the epidemic at an early stage and allowed the infection to spread outside the country. Washington also criticized China’s plans to pass a law on national security in Hong Kong.