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senate Bill S. 178

Should the U.S. Block Technology Exports That Could Aid China’s Persecution of the Uighur Muslims?

Argument in favor

The U.S. should take a stand against the People’s Republic of China’s mass surveillance of the Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities and the internment of a million or more in “political reeducation” camps. The reports required by this bill would orient federal agencies toward strategies that will end the persecution diplomatically.

Mitchell's Opinion
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last Sunday
Yes and while we're on it we should do the same here too.
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Martha's Opinion
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last Sunday
We should do anything we can to punish countries that repress their citizens, and that includes our own country.
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Jeff's Opinion
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last Monday
Selling arms and technology for repressing or eliminating others is immoral.
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Argument opposed

Congress shouldn’t try to tie the hands of the executive branch as it engages in diplomacy with China. The reports required by this bill could further weaken the U.S.-China diplomatic relationship amid an ongoing trade dispute and tensions over North Korea’s nuclear program.

NoHedges's Opinion
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last Monday
I will not support any Republican legislation until the GOP upholds the Constitution and decides to represent the people who elected them over both president/party. I AM DONE WITH THE DO AS I SAY BULLSHIT. Ethical leadership does NOT promote lies and deceitful practices. END THE “steady state” nightmare.
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jimK's Opinion
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last Monday
I think a Congressional resolution is appropriate; of our Country’s belief in human rights and that it is our belief that that Uighur’s rights as human beings are being violated by China’s persecution policies. I don’t think we have the right nor the authority to unilaterally impose our beliefs on another country, unless we do so as part of a broader world community of allied partners. This appears to be another attempt to leverage an unrelated issue in order to force trade policy changes because we think we can. Our ability to enforce our will on other countries has been seriously diminished under our republican-enabled trump ‘rule’. The downfall of authoritarian regimes, of which we have increasingly become, is that their self-righteous beliefs, which by ‘proclamation’ are ‘right and righteous’, can simply be imposed on others. If needed, these beliefs should not be ‘policied’ by us alone because ‘we said so’ without allied interests and international cooperation and support. In particular, this all seems quite hypocritical given our own abdominal recent ‘human-rights’ abuses of Latino immigrants. ... ... ... It is always much better to ‘lead’ by our example than it is to ‘lead’ by imposing our self-righteous mandates.
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Jeanne's Opinion
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last Monday
We jail babies! How are we superior to leaders of China?
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house Passed December 3rd, 2019
    Roll Call Vote 407 Yea / 1 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
  • The senate Passed September 11th, 2019
    Passed by Voice Vote
      senate Committees
      Committee on Foreign Relations
    IntroducedJanuary 17th, 2019

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What is Senate Bill S. 178?

This bill — known as the UIGHUR Act — would aim to counter the mass arbitrary detention of Turkic Muslims, including Uighurs, in “political reeducation” camps by the Chinese government in the Xinjiang region. It would require federal agencies to produce reports related to the persecution in Xinjiang (described in greater detail below), block exports of technologies that could further that persecution, consider imposing sanctions on officials & entities involved, and pressure the Chinese government to stop the repression through various diplomatic efforts.

The bill begins by listing several findings about the persecution of the 13 million Uighurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, including:

  • That the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has estimated that roughly 1 million ethnic or religious minorities are being arbitrarily detained in “political reeducation” camps.

  • That the arbitrary detention of persons based on their religious or ethnic background, without due process or credible individualized allegations of wrongdoing are a severe violation of international norms and standards.

The State Dept. would be directed to advocate for the release of detainees, an end to the use of “political reeducation” camps, and the immediate cessation of government persecution against the Uighurs and predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in meetings with the Chinese government. The agency, along with other federal agencies, would conduct a study to document the systematic detention that would also detail detainment facility locations, estimates of the number of people detained, a timeline of the escalation in discrimination against Turkic Muslims, and interviews from former detainees (to the greatest extent possible).

The bill would require the executive branch to conduct advocacy at the United Nations, with Central Asian governments, and other appropriate foreign governments to condemn the persecution of Turkic Muslims.

The executive branch would be encouraged to consider levying sanctions against senior Chinese officials in the Xinjiang region under the Magnitsky Act.

Federal agencies would be restricted from using a foreign person or entity involved with the mass detention in Xinjiang for procuring goods or services under a federal contract. Exports to China or entities involved in the persecution in Xinjiang that could be used in mass surveillance — such as machine learning technology, artificial intelligence, or biometric technology — would be prohibited. Entities looking to engage in transactions with Xinjiang authorities would have to request approval from the Commerce Dept. and could only receive a waiver if China stops its persecution or a specific transaction would undermine U.S. national security.

The bill would also state that it’s U.S. policy to oppose intimidation of journalists and call on China to allow free movement of journalists and their families throughout Xinjiang. Radio Free Asia would be directed to overcome the jamming of its radio signal by China and expand its availability in the Uighur language. The U.S. Agency for Global Media would be directed to applaud reporters who in their independent journalistic discretion pursue reporting related to human rights in Xinjiang and recognize the importance of widely distributed news content regarding human rights issues in Xinjiang.

The bill’s full title is the Uighur Intervention and Global Humanitarian Unified Response (UIGHUR) Act of 2019.

Impact

The Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities persecuted in Xinjiang; the Chinese government and its relations with the U.S.; DNI, FBI, the U.S. Agency for Global Media, and the State Dept.; and Congress.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 178

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced this bill to hold the Chinese government accountable for its human rights violations against the Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang:

“The United States must hold Chinese government and Communist Party officials responsible for gross human rights violations and possible crimes against humanities, including the internment in ‘political reeducation’ camps of a million or more Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim minorities. The State Department has indicated that it is leading an interagency effort within the administration to develop policy options in response to this brutal campaign of repression. The time for action is now. I’m proud to lead this important bipartisan initiative that elevates the current crisis in Xinjiang, puts forth policy options to address it, and signals that we will not tolerate Chinese government intrusions on American soil.”

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Bob Menendez (D-NJ), an original cosponsor of this bill, added:

“The Trump administration needs to finally develop a coherent strategy for China that reflects our nation’s values, especially given the horrific and ongoing human rights abuses committed against China’s Uighur Minority. This legislation is an acknowledgment that we are now in a new era of strategic competition with China, and I am proud to help lead this important effort so we don’t abandon our values and simply turn a blind eye as a million Muslims are unjustly imprisoned and forced into labor camps by an autocratic Chinese regime.”

In October 2019, the Trump administration imposed visa restrictions on Chinese officials involved in the mass surveillance and detention of minority groups, in addition to blacklisting 28 companies or entities connected to the persecution. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called China's abuses a "brutal, systematic campaign to erase religion and culture in Xinjiang."

This legislation has the support of 44 bipartisan cosponsors in the Senate, including 18 Democrats, 10 Republicans, and two Independents. It passed the Senate by unanimous consent as the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act before it was amended by the House with the text of the UIGHUR Act, a House bill that hasn't received a floor vote.


Of Note: Human rights experts say that between 800,000 to 2 million Muslims have been detained indefinitely in reeducation camps since April 2017 because the Chinese Communist Party views them as a potential extremist or separatist threat. Detainees are interned without due process in the camps, where they are subjected to communist propaganda, forced to renounce Islam, and in some cases are beaten and tortured.

And the crackdown extends beyond the reeducation camps as well, with political and cultural indoctrination occurring in schools and authorities using compulsory collection of biometric data (like DNA & voice samples), artificial intelligence, big data, and movement restrictions to control the population. A Human Rights Watch report notes that the “human rights violations in Xinjiang today are of a scope and scale not seen in China since the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution”, and explains the motivation behind it:

“Authorities have sought to justify harsh treatment in the name of maintaining stability and security in Xinjiang, and to “strike at” those deemed terrorists and extremists in a “precise” and “in-depth” manner. Xinjiang officials claim the root of these problems is the “problematic ideas” of Turkic Muslims. These ideas include what authorities describe as extreme religious dogmas, but also any non-Han Chinese sense of identity, be it Islamic, Turkic, Uyghur, or Kazakh. Authorities insist that such beliefs and affinities must be “corrected” or “eradicated.”


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: S Pakhrin via Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

AKA

Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019

Official Title

A bill to condemn gross human rights violations of ethnic Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang, and calling for an end to arbitrary detention, torture, and harassment of these communities inside and outside China.

    Yes and while we're on it we should do the same here too.
    Like (71)
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    I will not support any Republican legislation until the GOP upholds the Constitution and decides to represent the people who elected them over both president/party. I AM DONE WITH THE DO AS I SAY BULLSHIT. Ethical leadership does NOT promote lies and deceitful practices. END THE “steady state” nightmare.
    Like (77)
    Follow
    Share
    I think a Congressional resolution is appropriate; of our Country’s belief in human rights and that it is our belief that that Uighur’s rights as human beings are being violated by China’s persecution policies. I don’t think we have the right nor the authority to unilaterally impose our beliefs on another country, unless we do so as part of a broader world community of allied partners. This appears to be another attempt to leverage an unrelated issue in order to force trade policy changes because we think we can. Our ability to enforce our will on other countries has been seriously diminished under our republican-enabled trump ‘rule’. The downfall of authoritarian regimes, of which we have increasingly become, is that their self-righteous beliefs, which by ‘proclamation’ are ‘right and righteous’, can simply be imposed on others. If needed, these beliefs should not be ‘policied’ by us alone because ‘we said so’ without allied interests and international cooperation and support. In particular, this all seems quite hypocritical given our own abdominal recent ‘human-rights’ abuses of Latino immigrants. ... ... ... It is always much better to ‘lead’ by our example than it is to ‘lead’ by imposing our self-righteous mandates.
    Like (51)
    Follow
    Share
    We should do anything we can to punish countries that repress their citizens, and that includes our own country.
    Like (50)
    Follow
    Share
    We jail babies! How are we superior to leaders of China?
    Like (35)
    Follow
    Share
    Selling arms and technology for repressing or eliminating others is immoral.
    Like (28)
    Follow
    Share
    Is it okay for a sitting president to bribe a foreign government into investigating a political rival for personal gain, in return for aid already approved by Congress.? Our founding fathers didn’t think so and planned for it. Giuliani in talks to be paid by Ukraine official, while they were working together to attack trumps political opponent. Donald McGhan ordered to comply with subpoena. Bolton’s next:) Devin Nunez met with Ukrainians and directly pushed for Biden investigations. The meetings were set up by Giuliani’s Russian criminal friend Lev Parnas. Sondland was on a “Domestic Political Errand.” Was there a quid pro quo? Sondland, “Yes”. “Everyone was in the loop”. David Holmes, testified that Ukrainian officials “came to understand what was required” in order to get military assistance and a meeting with trump. U.S. ambassador to Ukraine felt threatened by trumps remarks and was threatened by trump while testifying. Long time friend and confidant of trump Roger Stone, found guilty of lying and witness tampering. trump has asked the Supreme Court to keep his taxes hidden, so no more separation of powers in the government. trump sought status of Ukraine investigations showing aid was depended on the investigations themselves. trump complains that witnesses all speak from 2nd and 3rd hand knowledge yet ordered Mulvaney not to testify. Laura Cooper testified that the Pentagon sought clarification from the trump administration about the hold up of the Ukraine aide and received none. A second person has said they reported sexual misconduct involving a former doctor who’s been accused of sexually abusing nearly 300 men over a 17-year period to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his staff felt they would not get the millions of dollars in aid money without publicly committing to launch the investigations Trump wanted. Senior trump administration officials considered resigning en masse in a ‘midnight self massacre’. State Department official says Giuliani was engaged in a campaign ‘full of lies and incorrect information’ about former ambassador. trump has issued pardons for two soldiers being tried for war crimes and returned rank to a soldier who took a selfie with a dead body. trump to pay $2 million for charity foundation misuse. trump wanted attorney general Barr to hold a news conference saying the president broke no laws on Ukraine call. White House official who heard trumps call with Ukraine president was told to keep quite. White House lawyer moved transcript of trump call to classified server after Ukraine adviser raised alarms. He has politicized our national security and has chosen Putin and other dictators over our own congress and security agencies. “I stated to Amb. Sondland that his statements were inappropriate, that the request to investigate Biden and his son had nothing to do with national security, and that such investigations were not something the NSC was going to get involved in or push,” Vindman adds. Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, a top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council is testifying that trump demanded that a foreign government investigate an American citizen in exchange for Congresses approved aide. Just reached a $984 billion deficit while he lines his pockets with our tax dollars and foreign money at his resorts. $400 million in aide money was withheld from Ukraine back in August and Ukrainian leaders were told it was not red tape, that they needed to talk to Chief of Staff Mulvaney to resolve it and make a CNN statement about Biden in order to receive said aide. Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, is running a shadow foreign policy in Ukraine that circumvents U.S. officials and career diplomats in order to personally benefit President trump. Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas. Look them up. North Korea just tested a submarine launched missile. Deserted our Kurdish allies who have been fighting ISIS with us and now are being slaughtered. All because he has a tower in Istanbul. “The Americans betrayed us. We do not trust them anymore,” she added. These used to be our Kurdish allies that stood against ISIS. He is refusing to comply with the law. He is using the power of the presidency to withhold aide to one of the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet in exchange for political favors in order to sway the 20/20 election. He is acting like a criminal and threatening the life of the whistleblower. Mr. America first is sending troops to Saudi Arabia in support of a murdering dictator who spends millions at his hotels and resorts. Corey Lewandowski testified to congress that trump ordered him to obstruct justice. He is blocking information that pertains to the safety of our country from reaching congress. He has been threatening NOAA, a federal agency, with punishment if they do not disavow the truth and side with his lies. He invited the Taliban to Camp David the week of 9/11. He is a #PussyAssBitch He’s doctoring weather maps to try and prove he’s not an idiot. He has stayed at trump properties 293 days in 3 years, that’s our tax dollars going directly into his pocket. He took money from military daycares to pay for a wall that won’t work and no one wants. The Vice President and the Attorney General are both spending tax payer dollars on trump hotels, lining his pockets and currying his favor. He has privately instructed aides to skirt laws and regulations to get the wall built faster — and told them he will pardon them if necessary. He is pressuring a government agency to give a contract for his wall to a company whose chief executive is a donor to one of his top GOP allies in Congress. He took hundreds of millions from 127 different projects (FEMA being one of those) for his wall. He thinks nuking a hurricane is an idea. He is host the next G-7 at one of his own resorts. Again our tax dollars paying him directly. He taunted Iran by tweeting a classified image of an Iranian rocket that had exploded, thereby potentially compromising U.S. intelligence capabilities. His own company would save millions from the low interest rates he is demanding. He was going to give you tax cuts through your paychecks but decided not to. This year the richest of us payed less in taxes than the rest of us. He is destroying the economy with HIS trade war. We will soon average a 1.2 trillion deficit. He is repeating NRA talking points on background checks so expect no action taken regardless of the fact there has been 27 arrested over threats to commit mass attacks since El Paso( NOT TOLEDO). He made fun of republicans being afraid of the NRA and then caved after a 30 minute phone conversation with them. He bragged about indefinite child detention because it brings families together. He is refusing flue shots, that protect us all(google influenza pandemic), to immigrant children. He is attacking fellow congresswomen in really disgusting ways and making anti-Semitic remarks about Jews calling them disloyal. He thinks he’s the chosen one based on a conspiracy theory web sight. He has: Obstructed Justice. Is profiting from the Presidency. Colluded - They had a meeting & lied about it. Advocated political & police violence. Abuse of power. Engaging in reckless behavior. Persecuting political opponents. Attacking the free press. Violating immigrants Right to Due Process. Violating campaign finance laws. Racist: Speaks directly to and often tweeting straight from white supremacists. Calls them very fine people. Told fellow congresswomen to go back where they came from. Called them shit hole countries. Called them murderers and rapists. Calls her Pocahontas. Took out full page adds calling for the death of five innocent black kids in New York, 1989. Literally has said in an interview he has Hitlers speeches, My New Order in his nightstand. Our Money: Spent campaign finance money on hush payments to silence a porn star he had an affair with in order to hide it from the voters. Has spent over $100 million of our tax dollars playing golf at his own golf courses. Has never divested from companies and advertises and profits off the White House. Was going to cut Medicaid and Medicare funding to pay for the tax cuts he gave to the rich. Is actively destroying farmers lives with his trade wars that we all know only hurts our pockets not Chinas. Has made the lives of every truck driver across America as well as our own, more dangerous by removing safety regulations that only benefits the pockets of the CEOs of those companies. Has removed any and all protections we had in place from work safety, environment, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and gives that power back to the CEOs, oil companies, men and old white men. Saudi funded lobbyist rented 500 rooms at a trump hotel he never divested from right after he became president. Wonder why? Sexual Predator: Accused by more than 20 women of molestation and rape. Bragged about said molestation on tape. Has cheated on all three wives (see above). Has made sexual remarks on camera about his daughter. Belittles and bully’s women. Not even sure he’s aware he has two daughters. Idiot: Has allowed North Korea to grow there nuclear weapons program. Took the side of Putin over America’s own security agencies on the national stage. Lacks the intelligence and facts needed to communicate on a global level much less national one. Makes policy decisions based on FOX media. Lies when speaks. Doesn’t believe in science and quite often displays his ignorance of it. Russia: Lied about meetings with Russians. Lied about a trump tower Moscow. Personal attorney Michael Cohen (same guy who broke campaign finance laws under trumps direction) had contacts with russian officials. National Security aide Flynn resigned over Russian contacts. Jeff Sessions recused himself because of Russian contacts. Manafort resigned because of Russian contacts. Campaign foreign policy adviser Papadopoulos met with Russians then bragged about it to Australians who then turned that info over to our FBI. Sixteen campaign officials had contacts with Russia and at least nine others new about it. Russian mobster lived in trump tower. trump casino was flagged 106 times for lax money laundering standards and same Russian frequently stayed at trump casino. Has been selling real estate to Russians for years. It really is surprising how many connections to Russians this man has. Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, Bill Posey You are my representatives. OLC policy: The indictment or criminal prosecution of a criminal investigation of a sitting President would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions. It’s time to do your job. You swore an oath to this country, it’s people and me to uphold the constitution. The president has never upheld that oath. How do you want to be remembered?
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    China has repeatedly violated human rights, killed political opponents / innocent protesters, and much more. The government shouldn’t be selling them anything that could benefit them on their violent acts and acts of aggression. Sure, it may harm the economy a small amount, but I don’t believe profit is more important than human rights.
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    Although I don’t care much for Senator Rubio, I feel his S178, the UIGHUR act is a starting point, more than likely an attempt to burnish his foreign policy resume credentials for the future. The thought that our executive branch is “negotiating” during a sensitive time is a tough lie to swallow when the ‘sensitive time’ is yet another self created obstacle. The only time our executive branch is not shooting itself in the foot is when it’s reloading. Only by supporting what’s right for humanity will we regain a small portion of the respect that we have through our own stupidity as a nation thrown away. Let’s also remember that leading by example is far more meaningful than saying one thing while doing another.
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    We said Never Again after the Holocaust. After Cambodia. After Rwanda. After countless other genocides, internment camps, and atrocities. It’s time to translate remembrance into action, and hold ourselves responsible, as members of a globalized world, to looking out for our fellow humans. It’s time to call out the country that has tried - and up to this point, largely succeeded - to quietly disappear the Uyghurs. I support diplomatic solutions to working to end China’s oppression of the Uyghur population.
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    I am for Human Rights and that means all people everywhere!
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    The US should not support genocide
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    Why does America need to give China any technology? I don’t believe that we should
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    While we are persecuting Muslims ourselves?!
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    The US should be careful of any tech sold or shipped to China or their surrogates. Not only because they may using it against their religious minorities but will use it against us as well.
    Like (8)
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    The USA needs no excuse to block giving technology to China. Just another question to support Socialism.
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    We should never weigh the benefits or penalties when considering supporting human rights. There is a greater good that needs to be our priority regardless of the parties involved. Further we cannot be a beacon of hope around the world while ignoring the atrocities being committed in this country. We need to walk the walk not just talk the talk.
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    We should stop all technological aid to China. We shouldn’t be doing any business with them. They are an oppressive regime and very dangerous.
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    Technology exports should be banned to any country in the interest of national security. An example that concerns me is the sharing of smart bomb parts to Saudis Arabia so they can manufacture for USA. Why wasn’t these manufactured in USA creating jobs, protecting quality of parts, & preventing a shortage if Saudis use as leverage? I see problems ahead.
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    The hypocrisy is simply staggering. The AMERICAN Indians who spent a freezing winter out on the plains, attacked by mercenaries hired by Big Polluters with attack dogs and fire hoses, are still in jail and the new pipeline has already had two massive leaks. The Hispanic children the Administration has “lost,” given up to adoption, or left in jail, is “unable to be accurately counted.” Americans have come to accept the thousands of Americans killed by poorly trained and militarized police. The list of horrors perpetrated by our corporate controlled government is endless!
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