What Happened: Several members of the U.S. House of Representatives are planning to introduce a bill designed to hold China accountable for its treatment of Uighur Muslims in the country, Axios reported Jan. 13.
Why It Matters: The prospective law would ramp up U.S. sanctions pressure against China at a time when Washington is already working to counter Beijing's policies on trade. Sanctions related to human rights typically target individuals and corporate entities, but the White House could push to expand their focus.
Background: China has cracked down on Uighur Muslims in the western province of Xinjiang in an effort to exert control over the region and ostensibly combat religious extremism, sparking international criticism that Beijing is committing human rights abuses.
- When Human Rights Become a Handicap to U.S. Foreign Policy (Nov. 8, 2018)
- China Risks a Backlash to Secure a Western Buffer (Oct. 12, 2018)
- China's Increasing Security Buffer on Its Western Frontier (Jan. 11, 2018)