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Chinese official blasts U.S. for Xinjiang bill

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on December 9, 2019 - Duration: 01:37s

Chinese official blasts U.S. for Xinjiang bill

People held in controversial training camps in Xinjiang have "graduated" and new students will have the "freedom to come and go", the government of China's far western region said on Monday, slamming foreign estimates of the numbers detained.

Chermaine Lee reports.

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Chinese official blasts U.S. for Xinjiang bill

A Chinese official on Monday - blasted a new U.S. bill on Xinjiang.

The legislation was passed last week and condemns the mass detention of Uighur Muslims in the area.

Xinjiang's governor called the bill a 'severe violation of international law.'

(SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) XINJIANG GOVERNOR, SHOHRAT ZAKIR, SAYING: "It severely trampled on international law and the basic principles of international relationship law.

It is the crude interference of China's domestic affairs.

We think this is a naked act of bullying.

Xinjiang Urghur Autonomous Region and people of all ethinic groups express strong condemnation and firm opposition." The bill was passed in the U.S. House and sparked fury from China.

If it makes it through the Senate and it's signed by President Donald Trump, the bill demands Washington get tougher over Beijing's treatment of Uighurs.

It would call on Beijing to close its internment camps in Xinjiang.

UN experts say China has detained between 1 and 2 million people in the camps - part of a sweeping anti-terrorism campaign.

The bill could also impose sanctions on a Chinese official, and ban US exports of surveillance technology to the country.

On Monday, Beijing repeated its denial of any mistreatment of Uighurs.

They again said China is only providing vocational training in such facilities.

And that some they call "students" in these camps have quote "graduated" and are free to "come and go".

Claims like these are hard to verify - as there is little transparency into these operations.

The bill only adds more tension to ties between the U.S. and China.

Recently the U.S. passed another bill to support anti-government protests in Hong Kong.

Both could complicate talks to end the U.S.-China trade war, which has dragged on for over a year.

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