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Sen. Grassley Questions World Bank Loan Used To Fund Chinese Uighur Repression

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Top Republican senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has questioned the credibility of a $50 million World Bank loan disbursed to an organization associated with the forcible internment of thousands of Uighur Muslims in China.

In a letter sent to World Bank President David Malpass, Grassley pointed out that the global lender issued the loan in 2015 to support the 'Xinjiang Technical and Vocational Education and Training Project.'

This project funded a school that is reportedly linked to forcible internment of Uighur Muslims, where they are subject to intense propaganda and are forced to renounce Islam, he said.

The lawmaker requested a meeting with the head of the World Bank to learn more about how this loan was approved, the loan oversight process and to discuss the Bank's new oversight initiatives designed to prevent such a loan from being disbursed in the future.

Grassley is requesting the meeting ahead of Congress's consideration of a proposed capital increase for the World Bank for the next fiscal year and the International Development Association's 19th funding replenishment.

"The World Bank has a responsibility to fully assess critical human rights risks, such as those exhibited in Xinjiang, in any region where it considers allocating or lending money," Grassley wrote.

"Given the repeated reports about repression in the province that date back years, it is hard to see how any project in that region could meet Word Bank's social framework standards," said Grassley, who is Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

Chinese Uighur Muslims are a minority population that has experienced grave human rights violations at the hands of the communist Chinese government.

At least a million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities are allegedly detained illegally in prison camps in China's western region of Xinjiang for what critics describe as brainwashing, usually without criminal charges.

Senator Jim Risch, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he is working with his Senate colleagues for an important piece of legislation to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for severe human rights abuses of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.

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