Tags: China | Donald Trump | Uighur Muslims | sanctions | foreign ministry | john bolton | pompeo

Beijing Threatens Retaliation After Trump Signs Uighur Muslims Sanctions Law

chinese flag flies next to the top of a mosque
A Chinese flag flies over the Juma mosque in the restored old city area of Kashgar, in China's western Xinjiang region, where many Uighur Muslims live. (Greg Baker/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 18 June 2020 02:41 PM

China’s Foreign Ministry threatened to take “countermeasures” if the U.S. doesn’t “immediately correct its mistakes” in its call for sanctions against Chinese officials for human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims, NBC News reports.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, which threatens to levy sanctions. 

On Thursday, China ripped the move in a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry.

"We again urge the U.S. 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," China's Foreign Ministry said, referring to the region in the northwest of the country where many Uighurs live. “Otherwise, China will resolutely take countermeasures, and all the consequences arising there from must be fully borne by the United States.”

China did not expand on what the countermeasures or consequences the U.S. may face could be. China denies any mistreatment of the Uighurs. 

The topic was allegedly mentioned in former national security adviser John Bolton’s book. Parts of the book claim that Trump told China's leader, Xi Jinping, that he supported Beijing's construction of camps to detain Uighurs.

Bolton wrote that according to an interpreter, "Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which Trump thought was exactly the right thing to do."

The book is slated to come out on Tuesday, but the Trump administration has sued Bolton to try to block it from being published.

China has said the camps provide vocational training and are needed to fight extremism. Many countries have criticized China’s treatment of the Uighurs. The United Nations estimates more than a million Muslims are detained in the Xinjiang camps, according to NBC News.

While Trump signed the sanctions law, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with China's top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, in Hawaii.

Yang told Pompeo "both sides stand to gain from cooperation and will lose from confrontation," according to a statement from China's Foreign Ministry issued on Thursday. He also said that Washington needed to respect Beijing's positions on issues such as Hong Kong, Taiwan and Xinjiang.

"Cooperation is the only correct choice for both sides," Yang said. "It is hoped that the U.S. and China will go hand-in-hand."

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China's Foreign Ministry threatened to take "countermeasures" if the U.S. doesn't "immediately correct its mistakes" in its call for sanctions against Chinese officials for human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims, NBC News reports. On Wednesday, President Donald Trump...
Uighur Muslims, sanctions, foreign ministry, john bolton, pompeo
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2020-41-18
Thursday, 18 June 2020 02:41 PM
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