As a bipartisan group of lawmakers rush to pass a flurry of bills targeting China over its abuses of Hong Kong, as well as lingering human rights issues involving the Uigher minority in the northwest, amid worsening tensions with China, the House of Representatives on Wednesday evening voted to send a bill targeting Chinese officials with sanctions over the country's treatment of its Muslim minority.
The bill passed via an overwhelming majority vote in the Senate earlier this month. The bill now heads to President Trump's desk. The president hasn't said whether he plans to sign it, or not.
The House vote was the first to take place under temporary rules established this month to allow representatives to cast their ballots by proxy, as a precaution against the spreading coronavirus. Republicans are suing Nancy Pelosi over the workaround.
Approval of the bill, which was widely expected to pass, comes just hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that Hong Kong was no longer sufficiently "independent" from Beijing.
China has already warned that it will retaliate against any sanctions imposed and denies the allegations of abuse inside its reeducation camps, which are believed to house as many as a million Uighurs.
The bill passed on Wednesday would give the president 180 days to put together a list of Chinese officials responsible for abuses. Those officials would then face sanctions, though Trump could exempt certain individuals if he claims that the exemption is in the national interest.
The legislation resembles a measure that passed the House 407-1 last year. It cites several Chinese officials by name, including Chen Quanguo, the official responsible for overseeing the camps, and Zhu Hailun, who has been labeled “Xinjiang’s architect of mass detention."
Meanwhile, Beijing's 'bot storm' on twitter and social-media continues, disguised as members of the most radical faction of the resurgent progressive movement, the self-identified 'Democratic Socialists', many of whom happily admit to being plain old socialists.
Time to play a new game we like to call CCP or DSA?
To speak of matters in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Xinjiang, or the South China Sea, as if they are significant American concerns that need to be pressed against China is to use imperialist logic. Whatever concerns one might have, these are simply not vital strategic interests.— Daniel Snider 🥛 (@PersonofAwesome) May 27, 2020