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Trump right to act against China for its inhumane crimes against Uighur minority

July 17, 2020
Op-Eds

Trump right to act against China for its inhumane crimes against Uighur minority
Fox News
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)
July 17, 2020
https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/rep-vicky-hartzler-trump-right-to-hold-china-accountable-for-inhumane-crimes-against-uighur-minority

After being at the forefront of exposing China for its atrocious treatment of its Uighur population, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China was sanctioned this week by the communists in Beijing. As a member of the commission, I vow one simple thing: no action or sanction against me for my work as a commissioner to expose human rights violations will deter my commitment to holding China accountable and speaking out against its aggressive actions and inhumanity.

For far too long, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his communist regime have been allowed to trample the basic human dignity of the Uighur population in Xinjiang. The United States and the international community cannot turn a blind eye to the atrocities happening there. With a committed Congress coupled with the leadership of President Trump, our country has begun to take the necessary steps to confront the Chinese regime. This action is needed.

The Chinese Communist Party is working to destroy the Uighur population. Currently, there are an estimated 1 million Uighurs in mass internment camps in China. All of them are subject to torture, medical neglect and forced labor at the hands of the brutal Chinese dictatorship.

In addition, there is disturbing evidence of forced sterilizations and other coercive measures used to curtail family size and population growth among ethnic Uighurs.

In these camps, the Uighurs — who are of Turkic ethnicity, predominately Muslim and speak their own language — undergo what the communists euphemistically dub “reeducation.” Chinese Communist Party officials indoctrinate them in the teachings of communism and the tenants of the Chinese revolution.

The Uighurs are also forced to learn Mandarin Chinese, renounce their religion, and pledge absolute loyalty to the Chinese communist regime. At the same time they are forced to work for little or no pay — many times making low-cost products exported to the U.S. that line American store shelves.

These coercive policies are part of the Chinese government’s series of authoritarian campaigns — such as the power grab in Hong Kong —  as Chinese leaders crack down on what they perceive as threats to the strength and stability of the communist regime.

The Uighurs’ unique identity, separate from the population in the rest of mainland China, runs counter to President Xi’s doctrine of Sinicization —  the deliberate guidance of the Chinese people towards a unified race and culture modeled after the Han Chinese.

Despite calls by the United States, our allies and several instrumental international organizations to immediately cease this genocide against the Uighurs, China claims that that its mass internment camps — which it calls “vocational training centers”— don’t infringe on the basic human rights of the Uighurs.

However, the Chinese have blocked foreign journalists and international inspectors from surveying the camps. Let’s make one thing clear — these are concentration camps.

But the world is finally waking up to China’s extraordinarily evil practices and taking action against its government. Last month, President Trump signed into law legislation born out of the final recommendations made by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

The Uighur Human Rights and Policy Act of 2020 applies sanctions to senior Chinese officials who are directly responsible for the ongoing repression of the Uighur population.

Invoking the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, the White House has taken swift action against several key Chinese Politburo officials, including the Communist Party secretary and former deputy party secretary of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region.

The U.S. Treasury Department issued the sanctions after exposing connections between these key individuals and serious, inhumane crimes against ethnic minorities in China, including the Uighurs.

I applaud Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and President Trump for these proactive steps.

I refuse to be deterred or be threatened by the latest sanctions against the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. We will continue to push our international partners to hold China accountable. We will continue to do our part to ensure that the communists in China are exposed for their reprehensible policies of ethnic genocide, and to expose U.S. companies complicit in this debasement.

History will be our judge and should be our teacher.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., is a senior member of the House Armed Services and Agriculture committees. She also serves on the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.