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ICYMI: Rubio Urges Administration to Hold China Accountable for Abuses Against Uyghurs

May 6, 2019 | Press Releases

Miami, FL — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) once again highlighted the importance of holding China accountable for its large-scale, systemic and egregious human rights abuses against Uyghurs and other religious and ethnic minorities in Xinjiang during remarks at a recent event hosted by the Ronald Reagan Institute to commemorate the 35th anniversary of President Reagan’s speech at Shanghai’s Fudan University. Rubio’s remarks were the latest in a long running effort to highlight China’s egregious human rights violations in Xinjiang.
 
Rubio is co-chair of the bipartisan and bicameral Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
 
Excerpts of Rubio’s remarks are below:
 
“And look no further than Xinjiang, where China has concentrated over one million Uyghurs and other religious and ethnic minorities in what they call “vocational schools” or “reeducation camps,” but what we would recognize as prison camps. Establishing Orwellian levels of high tech surveillance and monitoring, including the forced providing of people’s DNA.
 
“What Xi Jinping calls the “Chinese Dream,” has for millions of people, become a brutal and unending nightmare.
 
[….]
 
“We continue to do our part to make sure the world knows about what’s happening in Xinjiang — the crimes against humanity, the crimes being committed against the Uyghurs and other religious and ethnic minorities.
 
“That’s why in January, I re-introduced the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act with Senator Menendez, a bill that would require the Director of National Intelligence and the State Department to report about the regional security threat posed by this crackdown in Xinjiang, and to generate a list of Chinese companies that are involved in the construction and operation of these mass detention camps. It also requires a report on efforts how the FBI is helping to better inform and protect Uyghurs and others who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents from Chinese government harassment and intimidation here in the U.S. on our own soil.
 
“I recently led 24 Senators and 19 House Members in a letter urging the State Department and the Treasury Department to impose Global Magnitsky sanctions against Chinese officials responsible for human rights abuses. These sanctions are long overdue and it is time to take action on them.  Co-led by Senator Menendez and Congressmen Jim McGovern and Chris Smith, our letter also urges the Commerce Department to update U.S. export controls to stop American companies from exporting equipment and technology that enables these crimes against humanity in Xinjiang.
 
“Advocating for human rights and the rule of law in China needs to be made integral to any discussion that the United States Government has with China, or with allies and partners about China.”
 
Rubio’s full remarks on China are available online.
 
Highlights of Rubio’s Actions in Support of Uyghurs and Other Religious and Ethnic Minorities in Xinjiang:
 

  • On April 3, 2019, U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and colleagues urged strong sanctions, export controls and financial disclosures to counter Chinese human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
  • On January 17, 2019, Rubio, Menendez and colleagues re-introduced legislation in response to China’s human rights abuses of Uyghurs.
  • On November 14, 2018, Rubio, Menendez and colleagues introduced legislation in response to China’s human rights abuses of Uyghurs.
  • On October 10, 2018, Rubio and U.S. Representative Chris Smith issued the Congressional-Executive Commission 2018 Annual Report addressing possible ‘crimes against humanity’.
  • On October 10, 2018, Rubio and Smith wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed on how China grows more repressive.
  • On September 12, 2018, Rubio and Chris Smith (R-NJ), urged Commerce Secretary to limit technology sales to Chinese entities targeting Uyghur Muslims.
  • On September 7, 2018, Rubio discussed crackdown on Uyghur Muslims in China on NPR.
  • On August 29, 2018, Rubio and colleagues urged the Trump administration to sanction human rights violators in China’s Xinjiang region.
  • On August 23, 2018, Rubio discussed China’s oppression of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight.
  • On August 10, 2018, Rubio wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed on China’s campaign against Uyghur Muslims and other minorities.
  • On July 26, 2018, Rubio chairs Congressional-Executive Commission on China hearing on Xinjiang’s human rights crisis.
  • On May 15, 2018, Rubio and Smith asked Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross about sale of surveillance technology to Chinese police.
  • On April 4, 2018, Rubio and Smith urged U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad to prioritize mass detention of Uyghurs, including family members of Radio Free Asia employees.
  • On January 8, 2018, Rubio and Smith raise alarm about deteriorating human rights situation in Xinjiang.