WASHINGTON, United States of America
Chinese ambassador to Washington has warned the Trump administration that his country will retaliate “in proportion” if the United States sanctions its top official in the restive region of Xinjiang over alleged human rights abuse.
Cui Tiankai said his country’s policies in the region are to “re-educate” terrorists and also to combat international terrorism the same way the U.S. troops are battling Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
“Can you imagine (if) some American officials in charge of the fight against ISIS would be sanctioned?” Cui said, adding “if such actions are taken, we have to retaliate.”
Activists, academics, foreign governments and U.N. rights experts have called on the Chinese government to stop mass detentions and strict surveillance of the mostly Muslim Uighur minority and other Muslim groups in Xinjiang.
In August, a United Nations human rights panel said it had received many credible reports that a million or more Uighurs in China are being held in what resembles a “massive internment camp that is shrouded in secrecy.”
The Chinese government has since denied any ethnic or religious repression in Xinjiang.
However, they claim, the strict security measures including police checkpoints, detention centers, and mass DNA collection are needed to combat the influence of extremist groups.
According to U.S. officials, the Trump administration is considering sanctions targeting companies and officials linked to China’s crackdown on minority Muslims, including Xinjiang Party Secretary Chen Quanguo, who, as a member of the powerful politburo, is in the upper echelons of China’s leadership.