TEHRAN, Dec 3_China may ban all United States diplomatic passport-holders from entering its western Xinjiang region, the editor-in-chief of a state-run Chinese newspaper says.
TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club(YJC)_Global Times Editor-in-Chief Hu Xijin said in a tweet on Tuesday that the move would be in response to legislation being prepared by the US Congress concerning Xinjiang.
The US House of Representatives is due to vote on the bill on Tuesday. The bill amends a version that the Senate unanimously passed in September, and, among other things, requires the US president to impose sanctions on Chinese government officials responsible for the alleged repression of Uighurs, a minority of Muslims that lives in Xinjiang.
Hu said China was also considering “to impose visa restrictions on US officials and lawmakers who’ve had odious performance on Xinjiang issue,” without explaining or revealing the source of his information.
Resource-rich and strategically located on the borders of Central Asia, Xinjiang is key to China’s growing energy needs.
A United Nations (UN) human rights panel alleges that two million Uighurs have been forced into “political camps for indoctrination” in the western Xinjiang autonomous region, which is home to about 10 million Uighurs.
Beijing vehemently denies that allegation as well as other reports that Uighurs are marginalized, and says it is addressing underdevelopment and a lack of employment in areas heavily populated by Uighurs, such as Xinjiang.
Chinese officials have also characterized the camps as “vocational education and employment training centers” for “criminals involved in minor offenses.”