Chinese Might Face Human Rights Sanctions — NY Times

Blanche Robertson
September 14, 2018

China on Tuesday told the new United Nations human rights chief to respect its sovereignty after she called for access to its regions following "deeply disturbing" allegations of mass detentions of Muslim minorities.

The allegations have prompted a growing worldwide outcry and calls for sanctions to be imposed on senior Chinese officials.

The spokesperson said the government will not make any concrete comments on the criticism from the organization.

"Some of those disproportionate controls on ethnic minorities - expressions of their cultural and also their religious entities - have the potential also to incite radicalization and the recruitment of violence", she told reporters during a press briefing.

However, the New York Times report said discussions about how to deal with China over the abuses by White House, Treasury, and State Department officials, had been underway for months.

"There are credible reports out there that many, many thousands have been detained in detention centers since April 2017, and the numbers are fairly significant from what we can tell so far", Nauert said. "We're not going to preview any sanctions that may or may not happen".

Until now, President Trump has largely resisted punishing China for its human rights record, or even accusing it of widespread violations.

"The Chinese government protects people's freedom of religion and people of all ethnic groups are fully entitled to freedom of religion".

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The U.S. would also seek to restrict American sale of surveillance technology that China uses to track and monitor its Muslim population in northwest China, according to the newspaper.

The letter mentions reports that as many as one million Uighurs are being held in detention centers, referred to as "re-education camps" across Xinjiang.

The rights watchdog said that 1 million people are being held in detention camps, where Turkic Muslims are being forced to learn Mandarin Chinese, sing praises of the Chinese Communist Party, and memorize rules applicable primarily to Turkic Muslims.

Calling the allegations against China "deeply disturbing", Bachelet said Beijing had to allow access to the region for impartial observers.

China, via its foreign ministry, responded dismissively to the Human Rights Watch report on Monday (transcript in Chinese, transcript in English), and rebuked the United Nations human rights chief's requests on Tuesday (transcript in Chinese, transcript in English).

For decades, the Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang were the target of the Chinese government's surveillance and suppression. The Uyghurs were forced to welcome officials into their homes, where they were subjected to "political education".

The region has become one of themost intrusive police states in the world, and government surveillance of Muslim Uighurs permeates nearly every aspect of their lives, from an expansive network of facial-recognition cameras which monitor their daily activity, to policecollecting DNA samples, fingerprints, iris scans, and blood types to keep a database of all its residents.

Human Rights Watch released the most detailed and comprehensive report yet of witness testimony from the re-education camps in Xinjiang, and the families and lives torn apart by arbitrary detentions and the police state: "Eradicating ideological viruses": China's campaign of repression against Xinjiang's Muslims.

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