Source: Global Times Published: 2019-12-5
China will take strong countermeasures against the US, including releasing an "unreliable entity list" that includes relevant US entities, and imposing sanctions on relevant US officials, experts said, after the US House passed an act filled with groundless accusations against China's Xinjiang Tuesday night, local time.
The Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act smeared China's counter-terrorism efforts in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and used fabricated information to slander the vocational education and training centers and religious freedom in the region, analysts said.
Lü Xiang, a research fellow on US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times that this act doesn't have any review process. The sources of the act are loose and unreliable.
Diao Daming, an associate professor at the Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times that in addition to conveying the truth to the international community, China can adopt the unreliable entity list to list "those companies that dance to the act."
Diao suggested China should also impose sanctions on US politicians who pushed the act, and the NGOs behind it. "The US tactic is to place national law above international law. We should also think about coming up with our own agenda," he said.
"China will hit back with stronger countermeasures," Wei Jianguo, a former Chinese vice minister of commerce and executive deputy director of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, told the Global Times. He hinted that the countermeasures could be even stronger than what China had taken after the US passed the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.
Wei said China can sanction certain US entities and personnel in the unreliable entity list and restrict their entry to and activities in China. "Chinese people are never afraid of a threat or the US. We will fight back with tough measures," he said.
Erkin Oncan, a Turkish journalist who has followed Xinjiang issues for many years, slammed the act for its sinister intentions. "What China is trying to achieve, the US is trying hard to destroy," Oncan said.
The act was initially submitted to the US Senate by notorious anti-China Senator Marco Rubio on January 17. Ironically, the act, which tarnished the counter-terrorism efforts in Xinjiang, was passed at the Senate on September 11, the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Diao told the Global Times the US hastily pushed the act shortly after Trump singed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act because congressmen believe it would be easier to get the new act passed.
Generally speaking, the US Congress was quite busy in the first half of the year. If they don't push it now, they may need to wait until April 2020. "So they want to fight a quick battle. Some congressmen also think the act is easy to get passed under the current situation of pressuring China," Diao said.
"The act shows how US government grossly interfered into China's internal affairs. It's a serious violation of international law and fundamental principles of international relations. It is also a provocation against the Chinese people," Wei said. He added that China is no longer the lamb to be slaughtered and won't tolerate finger pointing by the US at its internal affairs.
Aside from factual errors, the act is also full of double standards. It accused China of using advanced technology for surveillance across the region. But the adoption of modern technology and big data to improve social governance is common in the international community.
"I think the US is the last country that has the right to criticize China in tech security. US itself uses high technology to monitor people, and the US commits very serious crimes by doing it illegally," Oncan told the Global Times.
"China's surveillance system is based on security, but the US version is based on the citizens' privacy. They [the US] watch secretly, categorize them and even sell them to companies which are working on matters like the elections."
He noted that it's absurd for the US to criticize China because China uses its surveillance system to prevent crime and make life easier.
"China is not doing it secretly, unlike the US. The US uses the biggest data collection app in the world: Facebook!" he said.
Another example of the double standards is that the US totally ignores the achievements Xinjiang has made.
Oncan said as a country with a base in Guantanamo Bay, the US represents double standards. "The US repeatedly uses the same arguments, which have already been explained by the Chinese government. And they purposely use a 'human rights' discourse which has the wrong context. China secures the beliefs, language and culture by blocking radical Islam and terrorism."
"The Xinjiang issue is not new. It was brought up 10 years ago. But at that time, because the terrorist activities were so intense, the US could not support it directly. But now when China has made great achievements in Xinjiang and no terrorist activities have happened in nearly three years, they bring up Xinjiang again," Lü said.
While the act threatens to sanction certain Chinese senior officials and restrict exports of certain items, Diao told the Global Times that they cannot be realistically implemented, and any rational government will not implement it.
"But the act will be like a sword hanging over China's head. In the future, any president can use it. In this sense, the act will have a very negative influence," Diao said.
Lü suggested that if the act damages China, we can consider sanctioning the states represented by those legislators.
Diao Daming is a research fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China.