Floor Speeches and Congressional Record Statements
House OKs Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) gave remarks on the floor of the House today during consideration of the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act. The bill passed 413-1. The following are excerpts of his statement:
Madame Speaker, Communist party general secretary Xi Jinping’s ongoing genocide against the approximately 10 million Uyghurs living in Xinjiang in northwestern China demands action.
Today, more than a million Uyghurs are in concentration camps. Millions more are harassed, beaten, raped and tortured.
S 3744—which is nearly identical to legislation H.R. 649, that I, joined by Mr. Suozzi and 136 cosponsors introduced 17 months ago—requires the Administration to categorize and report on the human rights abuses being committed by the Chinese government and take specific steps to sanction Chinese officials for these abuses including visa denial and asset blocking—the prohibition of all financial transactions by an abuser.
At a 2018 congressional hearing Mihrigul Tursun recounted her ordeal with torture, sexual abuse and detention a concentration camp.
She broke down weeping telling us that she pleaded with God to end her life. Her Chinese jailers restrained her to a table increased the electrical currents coursing through her body and mocked her belief in God.
She was tortured simply for being an ethnic Uyghur and a Muslim in China.
There are millions of stories like this waiting to be told about the crimes against humanity being committed by the Chinese government against Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other Turkic Muslims.
Chinese authorities initially denied the existence of mass internment camps and even now try to portray them as vocational training centers. They employed lies, censorship and economic coercion to stifle discussion of their crimes.
But documents obtained by the New York Times and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists have exposed the brutality behind Beijing’s plans to radically and coercively transform the culture and religion of ethnic Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other Muslims in China.
The leaked internal papers show detailed plans to intern between 1 million and 3 million Uyghurs in concentration camps—where they are subjected to severe human-rights abuses and Orwellian indoctrination efforts for those “whose thinking has been infected.”
At the same time, Beijing instituted plans to erase the influence of Islam in western China—bulldozing mosques and shrines, severely throttling all religious practice, and forcing camp detainees to renounce their faith.
The leaked documents also show that Xi Jinping himself directed the crackdown saying that the Communist Party must put the “organs of dictatorship” to work and show “absolutely no mercy” in dealing with Uyghurs and other Muslims.
In one speech President Xi said: “The weapons of the people’s democratic dictatorship must be wielded without any hesitation or wavering.”
“In February 2017, he told thousands of police officers and troops standing at attention in a vast square in Urumqi to prepare for a “smashing, obliterating offensive.”
According to the documents, Communist Party officials who were reluctant to carry out Xi’s draconian policies were investigated and expunged—and worse. “Secret teams of investigators traveled across the region identifying those who were not doing enough. In 2017, the party opened more than 12,000 investigations into party members in Xinjiang.”
We cannot be silent.
Xi Jinping is smashing and obliterating an entire people. He is presiding over genocide.