U.S. President Donald Trump has signed into law a bill that would allow him to impose sanctions on China for its involvement in the mass incarceration of people of faith in Xinjiang.
Almost a million Uighur Muslims are in what have been described as concentration camps in the region, according to the United Nations. China says the camps are ‘vocational training centres’ used to ‘tackle extremism’.
The new law calls for sanctions on Xinjiang’s Communist Party secretary, Chen Quanguo, for “gross human rights violations” and calls on US companies with operations in the regions to ensure supply chains are not using forced labour.
The World Uyghur Congress, a group representing the Uighur people in exile, said Trump’s move to sign the bill into law “gave hope to the desperate Uighur people”.
China hit back, however, saying they would take “countermeasures” against the U.S. action.
“We again urge the US side to immediately correct its mistakes and stop using this Xinjiang-related law to harm China’s interests and interfere in China’s internal affairs,” the ministry said in a statement.
“Otherwise China will resolutely take countermeasures, and all the consequences arising therefrom must be fully borne by the United States.”
Read more about China’s concentration camps here