Cline votes against Uyghurs

Prisoners in a Chinese “reeducation” camp for Uyghurs

Congressman Cline has said he wants to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for its many human rights abuses.

So it was surprising to learn that he was one of only seventeen House Republicans to vote NO on the Uyghur Policy Act (HR 4785) last week. (The bill, sponsored by Republican Young Kim of California, passed 407-17.)

According to the Council on Foreign Relations:

The Chinese government has reportedly arbitrarily detained more than a million Muslims in reeducation camps since 2017. Most of the people who have been detained are Uyghur, a predominantly Turkic-speaking ethnic group primarily in China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang. Beyond the detentions, Uyghurs in the region have been subjected to intense surveillance, forced labor, and involuntary sterilizations, among other rights abuses. 

The United States and several other foreign governments have described China’s actions in Xinjiang as genocide, while the UN human rights office said that the violations could constitute crimes against humanity.

A summary of the Uyghur Policy Act states:

The bill authorizes the establishment of a Special Coordinator for Uyghur Issues position within the Department of State.

The State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs may, subject to appropriations, make certain funds available to human rights advocates working on behalf of Uyghurs and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups persecuted in China. The funds, if made available, shall be used to facilitate the presence of such human rights advocates at public diplomacy forums to speak on issues related to the human rights and religious freedoms of minority groups persecuted in China.

The State Department must ensure that Uyghur language training is available to Foreign Service officers. It must also ensure that a Uyghur-speaking member of the Foreign Service is assigned to U.S. diplomatic and consular missions in China.

Would Cline have voted the same way if the Uyghurs were predominantly Christian? I’m sure he would be pleased to explain his objections to this bill to anyone who asks.

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