The ongoing genocide of Uyghur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region “should serve as a warning” about the threat of the communist regime there, the chairman of the House’s select committee on China says.
“The Chinese Communist Party’s ongoing Uyghur genocide reveals the party’s true nature,” Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., told The Daily Signal in an emailed statement Tuesday night. “It should serve as a warning for what the world would look like under CCP leadership.”
“Religious minorities are rounded up in concentration camps and subjected to forced labor,” Gallagher said as the China select committee prepares for a hearing Thursday. “Women are subjected to forced abortion, sterilization, and IUD insertion. Families are separated. An ethnic group is being systematically exterminated.”
The committee chaired by Gallagher is formally known as the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party.
A 2019 report authored by Adrian Zenz, director in China studies and senior fellow at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, said that “up to 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities” have been detained in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Radio Free Asia reported.
Zenz’s report also said that the Xinjiang region in northwest China “has probably somewhere between 1,300 and 1,400 extrajudicial internment facilities (excluding prisons).”
As chairman of the China select committee, Gallagher said, he wants to do something about it. He referred to Nazi Germany’s detention and murder of millions of Jews and other minorities in the Holocaust during World War II.
“For the past 80 years, the world has said, ‘Never again.’ But a genocide is, in fact, happening again,” the Wisconsin Republican said. “Now, it is time to do everything we can to stop it and ensure that no American—individual, company, investor, or university—remains knowingly or unknowingly complicit.”
The hearing, set for Thursday at 7 p.m. EDT, is titled “The Chinese Communist Party’s Ongoing Uyghur Genocide.”
In addition to Zenz, witnesses slated to testify include Gulbahar Haitiwaji, survivor of a Chinese concentration camp; Qelbinur Sidik, witness of a Chinese concentration camp; Nury Turkel, chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom; and Naomi Kikoler, director of the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the U.S. Holocaust Museum.
“There is a … deliberate plan to destroy the family, humiliate the women and girls, sterilize them by force, right, to prevent any family formation,” Louisa Greve, director of global advocacy at the Uyghur Human Rights Project, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview. “And that alone should make every single women’s rights group, feminist group, and family values group stand up with one voice.”
“This [Chinese] government is a monster that’s been invited into the international trade system in a way that really … should cause revulsion in every decent person’s heart, and that’s the way [the Uyghur Human Rights Project] feels,” Greve said.
Greve also emphasized that the genocide in Xinjiang is ongoing.
“As I mentioned, … once somebody is forcibly sterilized, once families are broken up, once the government that has made a policy [that] every working-age adult must be in the government-assigned place of work, you’ve accomplished your goals,” Greve said.
“They [Uyghurs] don’t have to be in a torture camp to be under government control, and the government has achieved its goal of getting away with wiping [them] out with strategic cultural cleansing and control of the individuals, control of taking children away, and breaking up marriages and the families,” she said.
The International Criminal Court issued a warrant Friday for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s arrest and prosecution for war crimes, The Associated Press reported.
The East Turkistan Government in Exile and the East Turkistan National Movement called for Chinese leader Xi Jinping to be arrested and charged “for genocide and other crimes against humanity committed against Uyghur and other Turkic peoples in East Turkistan,” according to a March 18 press release.
The two groups sent a complaint to the International Criminal Court in July 2020 claiming that China’s leadership “engaged in genocide and crimes against humanity against the Uyghur minority population in Xinjiang.”
In the press release, Salih Hudayar, prime minister of the East Turkistan Government in Exile, said:
We call on the International Criminal Court to act and hold Chinese leader Xi Jinping accountable for the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity against Uyghurs and other Turkic people in East Turkistan.
The International Criminal Court must uphold justice and fulfill its commitment to ‘Never Again’ by investigating the ongoing genocide and arresting Xi Jinping for his direct role in this Holocaust-like genocide in the 21st century.
Then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a determination on Jan. 19, 2021, President Donald Trump’s last full day in office, saying that “genocide and crimes against humanity are taking place against Uyghur Muslims and other minorities in Xinjiang,” Olivia Enos, then a senior policy analyst with The Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center, wrote for Forbes. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s multimedia news organization.)
“The determination is an essential step towards ensuring justice for the more than 1 million Uyghurs currently held in political reeducation facilities in China, for the Uyghur women being forcibly sterilized at the hands of their own government, and for Uyghur-Americans with loved ones in China they haven’t heard from in years,” Enos wrote.
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