House Takes Aim at China, Condemning and Punishing

House Takes Aim at China, Condemning and Punishing

( – The House of Representatives is stepping up the fight to push back against China’s poor treatment of the Uyghur people. It introduced a series of targeted bills just days after US, Canadian, and British officials agreed to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. The bills are designed to punish the nation while restricting international trade.

Trio of Bills Seek to Punish and Condemn

The House officially introduced the new trio of bills on Wednesday, December 8. While all three aim to address China’s past and current history of human rights violations, each approaches the foreign nation’s bad behavior in a slightly different way.

H.R.6210, also known as the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), initiates new trade restrictions on China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. It specifically prevents Xinjiang from exporting products to the United States unless CBP officials can prove the items weren’t manufactured by convicts, indentured servants or forced laborers. The UFLPA passed 428-1.

H.Res.317 takes a more direct approach, specifically condemning China’s treatment of the Uyghurs and other minority groups. It also accuses the foreign nation of widespread genocide and crimes against humanity, citing the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948 as cause for President Joe Biden to intervene. It passed 427-1.

H.Res.837 calls out the International Olympic Committee for failing to meet its own human rights commitments. It also condemns Chinese Communist Party (CCP) authorities for refusing to communicate or share information about the alleged sexual assault and temporary disappearance of Olympic tennis player Peng Shuai. It passed 428-0.

China’s Long History of Human Rights Violations

The new trio of bills is just the latest in a series of attempts to hold China responsible for its repeated incidents of bad behavior. Human rights activists have been speaking out against the foreign nation’s violations for years now.

Former President Donald Trump’s administration blasted Chinese officials just before exiting office in January. At the time, it labeled their treatment of the Uyghur people “genocide,” condemning the CCP’s use of forced labor and sterilization.

President Joe Biden last addressed the issue of Chinese human rights violations during an exchange with Chinese President Xi Jinping in November. Biden drew attention not only to the plight of residents living in Xinjiang, but also citizens of Hong Kong and Tibet.

Tensions between the US and China are on the rise. Pressure from the House isn’t likely to help the matter, but there’s bipartisan support for these kinds of interventions both within the government and among voters. For many people, the foreign nation’s refusal to respect human rights and continued violations prove it isn’t really willing to change.

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