China warns U.S. over Uighur bill, raising doubts over early trade deal

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on December 4, 2019 - Duration: 01:46s

China warns U.S. over Uighur bill, raising doubts over early trade deal

China warned on Wednesday that the U.S. House of Representatives bill calling for a tougher U.S. response to Beijing's treatment of its Uighur Muslim minority will impact bilateral cooperation, clouding prospects for a near-term deal to end a trade war.

China warns U.S. over Uighur bill, raising doubts over early trade deal

Beijing on Wednesday furiously condemned a piece of American legislation calling for a tougher U.S. response to China's treatment of Muslim minorities.

A foreign ministry spokeswoman warned the bill could impact prospects for a deal ending a grueling trade war.

(SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESWOMAN, HUA CHUNYING, SAYING: "Do you believe that if the U.S. takes measures to hurt China's interests, we will just sit back and let it happen?

I think for every erroneous action, an appropriate price must be paid.

An appropriate price must be paid." The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bill condemning reports the Chinese government had detained up to 1 million Uighur Muslims in the western province of Xinjiang.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) DEMOCRATIC HOUSE LEADER NANCY PELOSI, SAYING: "We are sending a message to Beijing.

America is watching and we will not stand silent.

[FLASH] (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN CHRIS SMITH, SAYING: "The size and scale of what is happening in Xinjiang is audaciously repressive, even by Chinese low standards." The U.S. House's approval of the Uighur Act of 2019, which still has to be approved by the Republican-controlled Senate before being sent to President Donald Trump, has angered Beijing and further strains an already testy relationship.

(SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESWOMAN, HUA CHUNYING , SAYING: "It definitely will have an effect on China-U.S. cooperation in important areas.

It definitely will have an effect." Several sources familiar with Beijing's stance told Reuters that the bill could jeopardize the so-called phase one deal already fraught with disagreements and complications.

Trump last month signed into law congressional legislation which supported Hong Kong protesters, despite angry objections from Beijing.

With a new round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods scheduled to take effect in less than two weeks, the possibility of another breakdown is growing.

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