First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

Bill to Punish China Over Uyghur Oppression to Get Hous...


US acts against China on Uyghurs

Bill to Punish China Over Uyghur Oppression to Get House Vote

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, presides over a vote in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021. President Biden's signature plan to expand the social safety net, address climate change and rewrite tax policies passed the House Friday morning as Speaker Pelosi united fractious Democrats to send the legislation to the Senate, where its fate remains uncertain. Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will vote this week on legislation aiming to punish China for its treatment of Uyghur Muslims, a move sure to anger the government in Beijing and add to tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

By Daniel Flatley

Word Count: 289
Pelosi announced the schedule a short time after President Joe Biden’s top spokesperson said U.S. government officials will boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics in February because of human rights abuses in China.

“As one united international community, we have the opportunity and responsibility to hold Beijing to account and to stand up for human dignity and freedom in the region and around the world,” Pelosi said in a statement, in which she also praised the administration’s decision.

EARLIER: Biden Administration to Boycott Winter Olympics in Beijing

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act would require the U.S Department of Homeland Security to create a list of entities that collaborate with the Chinese government in the repression of the Uyghurs, a predominately Muslim ethnic minority, in Xinjiang, as well as other groups. It also contains a “rebuttable presumption” that assumes all goods were made with forced labor unless the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection gives an exception.

A similar bill already passed in the Senate with bipartisan support.

Speaking Friday at a briefing in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian called allegations that forced labor is used in Xinjiang “a lie.”

“The bill is pure political manipulation with the intention to undermine Xinjiang’s stability and development under the pretext of human rights,” he said, adding that the U.S. “should pay more attention to its own problems. Chinese people are living a good life, enjoying their life, which does not need any concern from the U.S. side.”


Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or sign in if you are already an Insider.

Everybody has an opinion but not everyone has the knowledge and the experience to contribute meaningfully to a discussion. That’s what we want from our members. Help us learn with your expertise and insights on articles that we publish. We encourage different, respectful viewpoints to further our understanding of the world. View our comments policy here.

No Comments, yet

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted