Nauert acknowledged that the State Department had received a letter from a bipartisan group of USA lawmakers at the end of August asking Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to impose sanctions on a number of Chinese officials accused of overseeing the policies.
BEIJING - China called for United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet to respect its sovereignty on Tuesday, after she urged it to allow monitors into the restive far western region of Xinjiang and expressed concern about the situation there.
In August, a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers called for Chinese officials involved in alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang to be sanctioned under the Global Magnitsky Act - the 2012 law originally created to freeze the assets of certain Russian government officials and businessmen accused of human rights violations.
The region's indigenous Uyghurs have grown increasingly restive over Beijing's ever more intrusive monitoring of religious life and the growing migration of Han Chinese into the region, where they now make up around 40 percent of the 22- million population.
In the camps, the Uighurs are reportedly forced to learn Mandarin Chinese, espouse the Communist party and denounce Islam.
They spoke of Muslims being detained without proper cause and of their religion being repressed under mass surveillance.
"If they resist, or officials deem they have failed their lessons, they are punished".
And then on Tuesday, the ministry attacked the UN human rights chief: "the UN Human Rights High Commissioner and her office should abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, respect China's sovereignty, fairly and objectively fulfill its duties, and not listen to and believe one-sided information".
Bachelet called for a thorough investigation of the deaths of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and said that a pattern of abuses continues in the border region of Myanmar to this day.
QR codes are now being installed on the homes of Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang region in northwest China, according to a Human Rights Watch report released on Sunday.
For decades, the Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang were the target of the Chinese government's surveillance and suppression.
The report follows recent allegations that China has detained roughly one million Uighurs and subjecting another two million to re-education programs.
Last month, a United Nations human rights panel held a two-day session on China's policies in Xinjiang, and raised alarm over "credible reports" of that China had turned Xinjiang into "something resembling a massive internment camp, shrouded in secrecy, a sort of no-rights zone".