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Trump Administration Could Take Unprecedented Action Against China Over Uyghur Muslim Internment Camps: Report

The Trump administration is open to sanctioning Chinese officials because of the country’s internment of Uyghur Muslims, the founder of a China-focused human rights nonprofit told Axios Tuesday following a meeting with Vice President Mike Pence.

Bob Fu, founder of Christian organization ChinaAid, said Pence indicated openness at a Monday meeting to sanctioning officials in Xinjiang, China, through the Global Magnitsky Act, reported Axios. Chinese authorities said they arrested nearly 13,000 “terrorists” and punished more than 30,000 for “illegal religious activities” in the Xinjiang region since 2014.

The U.S. has only used the act to sanction one Chinese national before, former Chinese police officer Gao Yan, who contributed to the death of a Chinese human rights lawyer, according to Axios.

Pence spoke about the Uyghur internment camps during the State Department’s Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom event in Washington July 18.

“In Xinjiang, the Communist Party has imprisoned more than a million Chinese Muslims, including Uyghurs, in internment camps, where they endure around-the-clock brainwashing. … whatever comes of our negotiations with Beijing, you can be assured the American people will stand in solidarity with the people of all faiths in the People’s Republic of China,” Pence said according to Nikkei Asian Review.

But still, no definitive action. Fu told Axios that Pence did not commit to any specific actions but that he would personally keep tabs on the possibility of sanctioning the officials.

Fu told Axios that he gave Pence a list of nine officials behind the internment camps, including Chen Quanguo, the Chinese Communist Party secretary of Xinjiang.

“[A]gain looking forward to further follow up with [Vice President] Pence,” Fu wrote Tuesday on Twitter accompanied by a link to the Axios story.

The White House and ChinaAid did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment at the time of publication.

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