US House passes Xinjiang bill to build up momentum to 'democracy summit'
Published: Dec 09, 2021 09:54 PM Updated: Dec 09, 2021 10:26 PM
People are holding a Meshrep, a traditional Uygur community gathering, in Hami city of Xinjiang. Photo: IC

People are holding a Meshrep, a traditional Uygur community gathering, in Hami city of Xinjiang. Photo: IC

A day before the Democracy Summit, the US House of Representatives passed a bill on the so-called forced labor issue to reinforce the US lie of the century - the "genocide" allegation against China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Experts said the US' recent moves show its determination to use Xinjiang to launch a "democracy" battle to contain China. 

The US House of Representatives on Wednesday approved the so-called forced labor legislation that would ban the import of goods sourced in China's Xinjiang region, citing "human rights abuses" in the region. 

The bill, titled Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, creates a "rebuttable presumption" that all goods partially or wholly produced in the Xinjiang region are "tainted" by forced labor. It also requires corporations to prove with "clear and convincing evidence" that imports from the region are not made with forced labor.

The bill was approved by the House one day before the Democracy Summit, an event that the US is holding in order to divide the world by using its own criteria for what constitutes "democracy." Experts have said the timing of the bill's introduction is a deliberate move by the US to use it to suppress China.

The bill was passed by the US Senate in July but President Joe Biden cannot sign it into law until differences between the two versions of the House and Senate are resolved. According to NPR news, the issue came to the forefront last week. Senator Marco Rubio partnered with Republican Jim McGovern, the sponsor of the bill, on the effort and expected it to move at this session of Congress. 

Although some politicians want to use the bill to claim moral superiority over other countries, it still faces a few challenges. NPR reported that Rubio told reporters earlier this week that corporate interests are pressing the Biden administration to oppose it. A State Department spokesperson denied the allegations. 

So-called forced labor and "genocide" allegations are a malicious smear. The US repeatedly uses the Xinjiang topics to pull stunts, which is playing politics and imposing economic bullying under the banner of human rights to destabilize China's Xinjiang and contain China, Wang Wenbin, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, told a press conference on Thursday. 

The US attempt to hype the Xinjiang issue will not stop Xinjiang people's pursuit for a better life, nor will it stop China's development. China urges the US to stop pushing the bill, and will take a firm response if the US insists on moves that hurt China's interests, Wang said.

The bill has drawn controversy even within the US, as it has resulted in an increase in the cost of trade for some companies in the US and has a broader impact on the global industrial chain, Zhu Ying, a professor on human rights laws from Southwest University of Political Science and Law, told the Global Times. 

The US is rushing the bill to make the "genocide" allegation against China a "fact" in law. The bill is not only about economic restrictions, but also about hyping human rights issues, and is a precedent the US will use for its actions against China, Zhu noted.

The bill has nothing to do with justice or human rights, and is just a way for US politicians to hijack US companies' interests for free trade, and force them to kneel down to the US ideological bias. It has also hijacked Americans' right to know the real China and the truth about the Xinjiang region. It's blasphemy against real democracy, human rights and free trade, Zhu said. 

Jia Chunyang, an expert at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times that the bill was passed overwhelmingly by the House. The whole procedure will speed up and Joe Biden will likely sign it, especially after he just announced a boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics citing reasons related to Xinjiang. 

Together with the previous bill on Uygur human rights policy, which became law, the US wants to demonize China without having any facts. It's the same tactic the US adopted in the Cold War period to impose ideological pressure, Jia noted. 

Other purposes for making these laws include bringing unfair competition with China, as forced labor allegations can be used as an excuse for the US to restrict Chinese companies or ban imports from China. It can also be used to strategically suppress China, Jia noted. 

In response to the US bill, Gao Feng, spokesperson for China's Ministry of Commerce, told a press conference on Thursday that the US is using unilateralism, protectionism and bullying under the banner of human rights, which goes against the principles of the WTO. Its actions severely infringe on international trade order.

Gao noted that China firmly opposed the move and urged the US to correct it, adding that China will take necessary measures to firmly protect its legal interests. 

Issues related to the Xinjiang region have become increasingly important tools for the US to make "genocide" allegations, attack China and burnish its image as a "human rights defender" and disrupt China's development, analysts said. 

When entering the word "Xinjiang' on the US Congress website to search for related legislation, 140 items pop up with 18 on bills, 28 on resolutions, six on concurrent resolutions and two on laws directly and indirectly related to the Xinjiang region. Since 2019, the number of bills and resolutions on Xinjiang has soared. 

Zhu noted that after 2020, many bills related to China have not been allowed for preview on the Congress website, which showed that these US politicians are clear about the disinformation in their bills and are afraid of being called out on it. The move to deprive the public of their right to know also demonstrates that the US Congress is not as confident as it used to be. 

When the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019 was introduced by anti-China Senator Marco Rubio in January 2019, the Global Times found that the original document on the bill released on the US House website contained disinformation. 

Futile efforts 

Apart from passing the bill, the US and a group of anti-China forces that it has backed are racking their brains to hype up issues on Xinjiang for the Democracy Summit. 

The fake tribunal, known as the "Uyghur Tribunal," which was set up by the US-backed terrorist organization "World Uyghur Congress (WUC)" and anti-China forces in the US and the West, ruled on Thursday that China committed "genocide" in Xinjiang, an allegation that Chinese Foreign Ministry slammed as staging a political stunt.    

The so-called tribunal hired liars to make false statements and falsify evidence, in an attempt to craft a political tool to disrupt Xinjiang and smear China. It is completely void of any legal basis and has no credibility at all, a spokesperson of Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

Earlier this week, the US announced a "diplomatic boycott" of the Beijing Winter Olympics citing allegations of "genocide" in China's Xinjiang. 

By using all these fake witnesses and the "ruling" from the fake tribunal, making forced labor and other allegations against China a "fact in its laws," the US wants to promote further sanctions against China and push international judicial organizations, such as the International Court of Justice, to convict China, experts said.   

The video clip of remarks made by Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell and retired US Army Colonel at the Ron Paul Institute, in August 2018 may shed some light on why the US is so keen on hyping the Xinjiang issue. 

Wilkerson said that the reason why the US was in Afghanistan is that "It is the only hard power the US has and sits proximate to the central Belt and Road Initiative of China that runs across Central Asia. If we had to impact that with military power, we are in position to do so in Afghanistan ... And the third reason we're there is because there are 20 million Uygurs."

"Well, if the CIA would want to destabilize China, that would be the best way to do it, to form an unrest and join with those Uygurs in pushing the Han Chinese in Beijing from internal places rather than external," said Wilkerson. 

Lies will always remain lies. With all these stunts and sanctions, the US will end up affecting its own economy, damaging its international image and bankrupting its credibility, Zhu noted. 

Graham Perry, a British solicitor and international arbitrator, told the Global Times that the issue of the US' diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympic has to be seen within the bigger picture of the rise of China and the relative decline of the US.

The West likes to portray China as a vicious, oppressive 'dictatorship' but facts show the opposite. For example, China has lifted 800 million people out of poverty and protected more people from COVID-19, so the West "invents" genocide allegations to damage China, and as it becomes more successful, more lies will be told about China, Perry said.