China indignant at US vote on Uyghur Muslims

Uighur women leaving a political education center in Kashgar, China's Xinjiang province, in September 2018.
Uygur women leaving a political education center in Kashgar, Xinjiang Province, China, September 2018. Thomas Peter / REUTERS

The US Congress has once again called on Donald Trump to tighten his tone on China on Tuesday (December 3rd). A week after expressing support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a Senate text urging the US administration to impose sanctions on senior Chinese officials in response to "Arbitrary mass detentions" Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang Province.

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Only one voice, Republican, opposed it. The text defended by one Democrat and one Republican was adopted unanimously in the Senate. Because it has been modified in the House, it will have to be submitted again to the high assembly before reaching the President's desk. The latter will not be able to block it because, as for the Hongkong text, he has enough support in Congress to override a possible veto. The President of the United States has ratified the first law, to the chagrin of Beijing.


Donald Trump has so far remained silent about the fate of the Uighurs, unlike his vice president, Mike Pence, who had denounced, in October 2018, the situation of the "Million Uyghurs" Muslims submitted to camps to "Brainwashing".

The President of the United States will be all the more encouraged to ratify the text as the bitter negotiations on trade disputes between the two countries seem to be permanently blocked. Its potential impact should therefore be limited. On Tuesday, Donald Trump dismissed the prospect of a close deal.

" In some ways, I think it's better to wait until after the elections (from November 2020), if you want to know the truth He said suddenly on the sidelines of the NATO summit in London, immediately causing a drop in financial markets. "I will not make an agreement that will not be good for our country," added the President of the United States a little later.

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The US-China deal was originally announced for the G20 summit in Argentina in November 2018 before being postponed many times. In October, Donald Trump had restored confidence by securing a partial agreement, without further details, after talks with Vice President Liu He, who came to Washington. This sort of armistice had the effect of freezing a rise in tariffs on Chinese products scheduled for the same month.


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