US bill against Muslim detainment camps in China sparks anger
Official Chinese media outlets lashed out against the United States and called for harsh reprisals in editorials on Thursday after the US House of Representatives passed legislation calling for a stronger response to Beijing’s mistreatment of its Uighur Muslim minority.
A front-page editorial in the ruling Communist Party’s People’s Daily newspaper said the legislation “harbors evil intent and is extremely sinister” reported CNBC.
“Underestimating the determination and will of the Chinese people is doomed to fail,” it said.
The bill still had to be approved by the Senate and then sent and signed to president Donald Trump in order for it to become law.
And the White House had yet to say whether Trump would sign or veto the bill.
According to UN experts, China had already possibly detained as many one million Uighurs inside massive camps in the Xinjiang region. China claimed that the camps were part of an anti-terror crackdown and had denied any mistreatment of the minority.
The harsh criticism of Washington from state media followed warnings from China on Wednesday that the bill could impact bilateral cooperation and a putative trade deal.
The China Daily called the bill a “stab in the back, given Beijing’s efforts to stabilise the already turbulent China-US relationship”.
“It seems an odds-on bet that more (sanctions) can be expected if the latest approval for State Department meddling goes into the statute books,” it said.
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, said on Wednesday that “any wrong words and deeds must pay the due price.”
Nevertheless, it was unclear whether the matter would affect the relationship between the US and China in terms of trade.
Bloomberg reported on Thursday that both sides were still moving closer to signing a phase one agreement and rolling back tariffs.
US negotiators expected a phase-one deal with China to be completed before the next wave of American tariffs were due to kick-in, on 15 December, people close to the matter told Bloomberg.
Just the day before, stocks in Asia and Europe had rallied, while US equities rebounded from the declines seen on Tuesday, thanks to the good news around the trade conflict.