Breaking News, Africa News, World News, Entertainment, Social Buzz, Videos And More

US imposes China visa restrictions over Uighur issue

0 2

US imposes China visa restrictions over Uighur issue

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Protests calling for Uighur freedom have been happening all year

The US has said it will impose visa restrictions on Chinese officials accused of involvement in repression of Muslim populations.

It follows the decision on Monday to blacklist 28 Chinese organisations linked by the US to allegations of abuse in the Xinjiang region.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Chinese government had instituted "a highly repressive campaign".

China has dismissed the allegations as groundless.

In a statement, Mr Pompeo accused the Chinese government of a string of abuses against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz Muslims and other minority Muslim groups.

  • The vanished Uighurs of Xinjiang
  • China's Muslim 'crackdown' explained

These included "mass detentions in internment camps; pervasive, high-tech surveillance; draconian controls on expressions of cultural and religious identities; and coercion of individuals to return from abroad to an often perilous fate in China".

China has rebuffed the US moves.

"There is no such thing as these so-called 'human rights issues' as claimed by the United States," foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Monday.

"These accusations are nothing more than an excuse for the United States to deliberately interfere in China's internal affairs."

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe BBC visits the camps where China’s Muslims have their "thoughts transformed"

Visa restrictions are to be imposed on Chinese government and Communist Party officials, as well as their family members.

"The United States calls on the People's Republic of China to immediately end its campaign of repression in Xinjiang, release all those arbitrarily detained, and cease efforts to coerce members of Chinese Muslim minority groups residing abroad to return to China to face an uncertain fate," the US statement said.

Related Posts

The US and China are currently embroiled in a trade war, and have sent delegations to Washington for a meeting about the tensions later this week.

  • 'We're all paying for this': People in the trade war crossfire
  • US-China trade war in 300 words
  • The US-China trade war in charts

What is the situation in Xinjiang?

China has been carrying out a massive security operation in Xinjiang, in its far west, in recent years.

Human rights groups and the UN say China has rounded up and detained more than a million Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in vast detention camps, where they are forced to renounce Islam, speak only in Mandarin Chinese and learn obedience to the communist government.

But China says they are attending "vocational training centres" which are giving them jobs and helping them integrate into Chinese society, in the name of preventing terrorism.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe BBC's John Sudworth meets Uighur parents in Turkey who say their children are missing in China

There have been increasingly vocal denunciations from the US and other countries about China's actions in Xinjiang.

Last week, Mr Pompeo alleged that China "demands its citizens worship government, not God" in a press conference in the Vatican.

And in July more than 20 countries at the UN Human Rights Council signed a joint letter criticising China's treatment of the Uighurs and other Muslims.

Who are the Uighurs?

Uighurs are ethnically Turkic Muslims. They make up about 45% of the Xinjiang region's population; 40% are Han Chinese.

China re-established control in 1949 after crushing short-lived state of East Turkestan.

  • Why is there tension between China and the Uighurs?

Since then, there has been large-scale immigration of Han Chinese and Uighurs fear erosion of their culture.

Xinjiang is officially designated an autonomous region within China, like Tibet to its south.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.