Smith Introduces Legislation Condemning Abuses Against Uyghurs in China, Calling for Accountability
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), co-chair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, today introduced bipartisan legislation condemning the internment of over a million Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim ethnic minorities in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and calling for an end to arbitrary detention, torture, and forced renunciation of faith occurring in the region. Smith was joined on the legislation by lead Democratic cosponsor Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-NY) and eight other Members of Congress.
“The internment of over a million Uyghurs and other Muslims in China is a staggering evil and should be treated by the international community as a crime against humanity,” said Smith. “The Chinese government’s creation of a vast system of what can only be called concentration camps cannot be tolerated in the 21st century. This legislation gives the Administration the tools to take a firm stand against Beijing’s plans to erase the religious identity, culture, and language of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in China’s western province. As a start, Chinese government officials should be held accountable for their complicity in gross violations of human rights and U.S. businesses should be barred from helping China create a high-tech police state in Xinjiang province.”
“The brutal, religious based persecution of the Uyghurs in China is alarming. Xinjiang province has become nothing short of a police state,” said Congressman Suozzi. “We must take a stand against the violation of human rights and show the Chinese government that this is unacceptable. This bicameral, bipartisan bill is an important step in shedding light on the plight of the Uyghurs, and provides concrete policy options to address this abhorrent situation.”
Among other actions, the legislation:
Additional original cosponsors of the legislation include Reps. Michael McCaul (R-TX), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Barbara Comstock (R-VA), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Randy Hultgren (R-IL), and Jim McGovern (D-MA). The bill is the House analogue to a Senate bill introduced by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ).