China may ban all United States diplomatic passport-holders from Xinjiang

Mihrigul Tursun was detained in a Chinese internment camp for Uighur Muslims

China on Wednesday reacted angrily after the US House of Representatives' passed a bill requiring the Trump administration to toughen its response to Xinjiang, where the at least one million Muslims, mostly ethnic Uighurs, are being detained in re-education camps.

The US House of Representatives is expected to vote Tuesday on the Xinjiang bill, which amends a version passed by unanimous consent in the Senate in September.

The latest House measure condemns the arbitrary mass detention of Uighurs and calls for closure of the re-education camps where, according to rights groups and United States lawmakers, they have been held and abused. That list would include Xinjiang Party Secretary Chen Quanguo and officials responsible for mass incarceration or reeducation efforts targeting Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities.

It has still to be approved by the Senate before it can be sent to President Donald Trump.

It was the latest example in a number of overwhelmingly bipartisan congressional actions aimed at intensifying pressure on China over everything from its human rights abuses in Xinjiang to its stance on the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

"Xinjiang-related issues are simply not issues of human rights, ethnicity or religion, but rather an issue of anti-terrorism and anti-separatism", Hua said.

In an extensive talk in London, he said that Chinese officials wanted to reach an agreement, but "we will see if the agreement will be correct or not, it has to be correct".

The Chinese state-owned tabloid The Global Times quoted experts as saying Beijing will take "strong countermeasures".

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China has denied mistreatment at the camps, which Beijing says provide vocational training to help eliminate religious extremism and teach new skills to people of the region. It has warned of retaliation "in proportion" if Chen were targeted.

The White House and the Chinese embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The acts amended existing legislation to allow for the possibility of sanctions on human rights offenders in China's special administrative region and an annual assessment of the developments to determine the level of Hong Kong's autonomy from China.

Analysts say China's reaction to passage of the Uighur bill could be stronger, although some doubted it would go so far as imposing visa bans on the likes of the U.S. secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, who has called China's treatment of Uighurs "the stain of the century" and has been repeatedly denounced by Beijing.

That legislation, along with a bill that bans the export of crowd-control devices to Hong Kong police, led China to threaten sanctions on some human rights organisations and halt U.S. naval visits to the city.

"We can not be silent".

Congress "is taking a critical step to counter Beijing's horrific human rights abuses against Uighurs", she said.

Chris Johnson, a China expert at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies, said passage of the bill could lead to a further blurring of lines between the trade issue and the broader deteriorating Sino-U.S. relationship, which China in the past has tended to keep separate.

Thomas Massie, the sole member of Congress to vote against both the Hong Kong and Uighur bills, said he did so because he considered the issues to be Chinese domestic affairs.

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