On May 27, the US Congress approved the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 (“S. 3744”), a bill which authorizes the imposition of sanctions on persons, including any official of the Chinese government, determined to be responsible for certain human rights violations and abuses committed against Muslim minority groups in China or elsewhere. The bill, which was approved amidst increasing tensions between the United States and China, now goes to the White House where President Trump will have 10 days to sign the bill, veto the bill, or permit the bill to become law without his signature. The 10-day clock will start when the US Congress delivers S. 3744 to the President, which may happen in a few days.
New Sanctions Authorized
S. 3744 would require the President, within 180 days of the bill’s enactment and at least annually thereafter, to submit a report to Congress that identifies each foreign person, including any official of the Chinese government, determined to be responsible for committing certain human rights violations and abuse against the Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, or other Muslim minority groups in China or elsewhere. The persons identified in the report would then be subject to sanctions, including asset blocking, visa revocation, and ineligibility for entry into the United States.
Additional Congressional Reports
S. 3744 would also require reports from the US Department of State, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Director of National Intelligence regarding, among other things, the situation in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and efforts to protect US citizens and residents, including ethnic Uyghurs and Chinese nationals legally studying or working temporarily in the United States, who have experienced harassment or intimidation within the United States by officials or agents of the Chinese government.
The authors thank Bruce Linskens for his contributions to this blog post.