The US Senate unanimously passed legislation banning Chinese goods manufactured in the Xinjiang autonomous region over the widespread persecution of the minority Muslim community of Uyghurs. The Uyghur bill is aimed as a pushback that Washington has been using for some time now.
The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act was passed unanimously by the Senate. It has been sent to President Joe Biden for his signature. The Uyghur bill passed through the lower house on Tuesday with an undisputed voice vote.
The bill had a fast passage through Congress as lawmakers arrived at a compromise to eliminating differences amongst bills introduced in the 2 chambers.
The Uyghur bill has been under consideration for months in the two chambers. The dispute had led to complications in the passing of the National Defense Authorization Act. It also stalled the confirmation by the Senate of several ambassadorial nominees counting Nicholas Burns’ selection as the envoy to China.
The clearance of the passage of the Uyghur bill on Thursday in the Senate led to lawmakers agreeing to vote later that day on some nominees for ambassadorial posts, including Nicholas Burns.
Uyghur Bill Creates ‘Rebuttable Presumption’ On Goods From Xinjiang
The legislation has kept open a provision that presumes that goods from Xinjiang were made by people forced into a form of slavery. Uyghurs in the province have been forced to move to detention camps where they are pushed into forced labor. The provision of the bill aims to prevent such practices.
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said that this shocking human rights condition has been fully sanctioned by the Chinese Communist Party.
A majority of the parts for solar panels are made in this part of China. But the US insists that China is perpetrating genocide in this province on a large scale.
Nury Turkel, an Uyghur American representing the community says that there remain concerns that the bill will not be implemented in full as companies continue to demand waivers. He said that the Uyghur Bill will then remain a dead lever, much like the defunct Genocide Convention.