The U.S. Senate late Wednesday passed a bipartisan act which aims to direct various U.S. government bodies to prepare reports on China's treatment of the Uighurs, a predominantly Muslim Turkic ethnic group.
"Tonight, the Senate passed my bipartisan #Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act," tweeted Florida Senator Marco Rubio.
"This is very meaningful step in countering the widespread horrific human rights abuses in #Xinjiang by the communist party of #China," the Republican lawmaker added.
The bill against China was first introduced in January in a bid to "condemn gross human rights violations of ethnic Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang, and calling for an end to arbitrary detention, torture, and harassment of these communities inside and outside China".
China has long been criticizing the U.S. for meddling in its internal affairs and using the Uighur card as part of its cyber propaganda against the Asian nation.
The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has designated China as the strategic rival to U.S. interests and the two giant competitors are in the midst of a trade and tariff war.
China's Xinjiang region is home to around 10 million Uighur Muslims. The Turkic Muslim group, which makes up around 45% of Xinjiang's population, has long accused China's authorities of cultural, religious and economic discrimination.
Up to one million people, or about 7% of the Muslim population in Xinjiang, have been incarcerated in an expanding network of "political re-education" camps, according to U.S. officials and UN experts.
In a 2018 report, Human Rights Watch accused Beijing of carrying out a "systematic campaign of human rights violations" against Uighur Muslims in the region.