China warns the United States about Uighur bill, raising doubts about the trade agreement

BEIJING/WASHINGTON: China warned on Wednesday that US law demands a tougher response to Beijing The treatment of its Muslim minority will affect bilateral cooperation, clouding the prospects of a short-term agreement to end a trade war. Expectations for a quick agreement had already dropped, after US President Trump said on Tuesday it could take until the end of 2020 to reach an agreement.

Approval by the US House of Representatives of the Uighur Act of 2019, which still requires passage by the Senate before being sent to Trump, has angered Beijing and further strained an already testy relationship.

Sources familiar with Beijing’s stance said that the bill could jeopardise the so-called phase one trade deal already fraught with disagreements. With a new round of US tariffs on Chinese goods scheduled to take effect in less than two weeks, the possibility of another breakdown is growing. “Do you think if America takes actions to hurt China’s interests we won’t take any action,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman said. “I think any wrong words and deeds must pay the due price.”