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Senate passes bill targeting China over Uyghur forced labor

Senate passes bill targeting China over Uyghur forced labor

Washington, Dec 16 (Prensa Latina) Senators gave final congressional approval Thursday to a bill barring imports from China’s Xinjiang region unless businesses can prove they were produced without forced labor, overcoming initial hesitation from the White House and what supporters said was opposition from corporations.

The measure is the latest in a series intensifying U.S. penalties over China’s alleged systemic and widespread abuse of ethnic and religious minorities in the western region, especially Xinjiang’s predominantly Muslim Uyghurs.

The measure, approved on Tuesday in the House of Representatives, now passed down to President Joe Biden’s hands for his signature before becoming bill.

The United States says China is committing genocide in its treatment of the Uyghurs. That includes widespread reports by rights groups and journalists of forced sterilization and large detention camps where many Uyghurs allegedly are compelled to work in factories.

The Biden administration also announced new sanctions Thursday targeting several Chinese biotech and surveillance companies, a leading drone manufacturer and government entities for their actions in Xinjiang.

According to US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, China chooses to use technology and innovation to control its people and repress members of ethnic and religious minorities, which is why US raw materials cannot be used in that region either.

Amid an escalation of tension on China, US Congress on Wednesday passed a bill to increase the 2022 defense budget that includes bans on Pentagon from using funds for certain acquisitions in Xinjiang.

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