US hits China on Hong Kong, Uighurs and trade in UN speech

Trump while delivering a stinging rebuke to China, said he would not accept a 'bad deal' in US-China trade negotiations.

Trump ramps up pressure on China

The United States ramped up pressure on China at the UN General Assembly Tuesday, rallying countries against Beijing's treatment of Uighur Muslims and warning it is watching on Hong Kong. Trump while delivering stinging rebuke to China, said he would not accept a "bad deal" in US-China trade negotiations.

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On China's 'predatory' trade practices 

Trump said Beijing had failed to keep promises it made when China joined the World Trade Organisation in 2001 and was engaging in predatory practices that had cost millions of jobs in the United States and other countries.

"Not only has China declined to adopt promised reforms, it has embraced an economic model dependent on massive market barriers, heavy state subsidies, currency manipulation, product dumping, forced technology transfers and the theft of intellectual property and also trade secrets on a grand scale," Trump said.

"As far as America is concerned, those days are over."

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'Will not accept a bad deal'

"The American people are absolutely committed to restoring balance in our relationship with China. Hopefully, we can reach an agreement that will be beneficial for both countries," Trump said.

"As I have made very clear, I will not accept a bad deal."

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On plight of US memory chip maker Micron

Trump's speech highlighted the plight of US memory chip maker Micron Technology, which has become a symbol of US assertions that China fails to protect American intellectual property and steals it or forces the transfer of it. Two years ago Micron accused a Chinese state firm of stealing its chip designs.

"Soon, the Chinese company obtains patents for nearly an identical product, and Micron was banned from selling its own goods in China," Trump said, "But we are seeking justice."

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On Hong Kong crisis

In his UN speech, Trump also drew a link between resolving the US-China trade dispute and Beijing's treatment of Hong Kong. 

Washington was "carefully monitoring the situation in Hong Kong," he said.

"The world fully expects that the Chinese government will honour its binding treaty made with the British and registered with the United Nations, in which China commits to protect Hong Kong’s freedom, legal system and democratic ways of life," Trump said.

"How China chooses to handle the situation will say a great deal about its role in the world in the future. We are all counting on President Xi as a great leader," Trump added.

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Treatment towards the Uighurs muslims

China was globally condemned for their treatment towards the Uighurs muslims in the Xinjiang district. 

In a report by Rights group Amnesty International,  said authorities criminalised "what they labelled 'illegal religious' and 'separatist' activities" and clamped down on "peaceful expressions of cultural identity". This report was published in 2013. 

In July 2014, some Xinjiang government departments banned Muslim civil servants from fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. It was not the first time China had restricted fasting in Xinjiang, but it followed a slew of attacks on the public attributed to Uighur extremists, prompting concerns the ban would increase tensions.

Meanwhile, the US State Department organised an event to highlight the plight of Uighurs in China.

The conference was held on the sidelines of the general assembly to garner support "to demand and compel an immediate end to China’s horrific campaign of repression," John Sullivan, the US's second-highest diplomat, said.

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Right to religious freedom

"In Xinjiang, the Chinese government prevents Muslims from praying and reading the Quran, and it has destroyed or defaced a great number of mosques," Sullivan said.

"This is a systematic campaign by the Chinese Communist Party to stop its own citizens from exercising their unalienable right to religious freedom."

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