BEIJING: China has warned the United States of repercussions for passing the legislation seeking sanctions on senior Chinese officials over the persecution of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province.
The bill passed by the US House of Representatives will escalate the tensions between the two world powers. Earlier, US President Donald Trump had signed a statute law endorsing protests in Hong Kong, which led China to impose sanctions on American NGOs and restriction on US warships in the territory near Hong Kong.
“If the US takes measures that harm China’s interests, it must pay the price. Besides, there is no way this won’t affect bilateral relations and cooperation in important areas,” said China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying in a press conference after the Uyghur bill was passed, which condemns China’s alleged gross human rights violations.
To a query seeking further explanation of ‘pay the price’, Hua Chunying said the Chinese government was fully capable of safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests. “As to what actions will be taken, please stay tuned as the price will be paid eventually.”
“Xinjiang-related issues are by no means about human rights, ethnicity or religion, but about the fight against separatism and terrorism. Since the 1990s, especially after the September 11 attacks, elements of terrorist, separatist and extremist forces launched several thousand terrorist attacks there, causing massive casualties as well as property loss.
“In the ’July 5’ incident alone, 197 people were killed and more than 1,700 injured. Borrowing international counter-terrorism experience, China started vocational education and training in Xinjiang, which is a step answering the call of the UN Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism,” she said.
Expressing wonder over the obliviousness of the US lawmakers regarding the United Nations document, the spokesperson said, “As the Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism of points out, poverty, unemployment, lack of job opportunities, poor education and the cynical distortion and misuse of religious beliefs, ethnic differences and political ideologies by violent extremist groups, are all backgrounds and motivations of violent extremism.
“The document also proposes to encourage members of violent extremist groups to leave such groups by providing them with educational and economic opportunities as well as vocational training resources. To this end, many countries have set up deradicalization centers and education transformation centers. Some countries have developed both in-prison and community-based education transformation of terrorists and high-vulnerability groups. In the UK, the Desistance and Disengagement Programme (DDP) makes it mandatory for all terrorism-related offenders to receive training. There are also segregation units in prison to prevent the spread of radical violent terrorism.”