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Rubio, Blackburn, Colleagues Demand Sanctions on Companies Enabling CCP Genocide Against Uyghur Muslims

Dec 21, 2021 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Senate colleagues sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo urging the Department to add five companies to the “Entity List” due to their roles enabling the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) genocide of Uyghurs and other predominately Muslim ethnic groups. The Entity List imposes licensing requirements for the export or transfer of certain technologies to individuals and companies that have taken actions counter to the U.S. government’s national security or foreign policy interests. The senators’ letter follows research published by the Hoover Institution that exposed five companies’ affiliation with the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Automation, which is working to weaponize surveillance functions on behalf of the CCP.
 
Rubio and Blackburn were joined in sending the letter by Senators Rick Scott (R-FL), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Thom Tillis (R-NC), John Cornyn (R-TX), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Todd Young (R-IN), Mike Braun (R-IN), and Ted Cruz (R-TX).
 
Rubio is a senior member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. 
 
The senators, “implore[d] the Department of Commerce to restrict trade with entities in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) whose products and services support egregious crimes against civilians.”
  
“While the U.S. government has made strides towards restricting business with some PRC entities, efforts are still inadequate with respect to PRC research institutions and their affiliates in light of their contributions to the mass weaponization of surveillance functions,” the senators wrote. “Potential partners must be thoroughly vetted to maintain our own national security and to outwardly emphasize that we do not condone the immoral behavior of the CCP.” 
 
The full text of the letter is below.
 
Dear Secretary Raimondo,
 
We write to express our concern with the harmful efforts of several firms connected to the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Automation that are working to weaponize surveillance functions on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). As such, we request that the Department of Commerce intervene to defend American interests and add these companies to its “Entity List.”
 
The Department of Commerce plays a critical role in preserving U.S. values and promoting national security, especially when protecting the United States from malign interference by the CCP. The CCP is known to blur the facts of activities within state-controlled research institutions, promote unofficial transfers of intellectual property, and participate in activities that damage the moral framework surrounding human rights and scientific research. 
 
These alarming discoveries solidify the importance of further vetting for Chinese state-affiliated entities whose activities oppose American ethics at their core. The human rights abuses at the hands of the CCP are evident in the Xinjiang region where Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious groups are targeted and punished. The party-state’s denunciation of said groups leads to “pre-criminal” profiling; coerced collections of biometric and genetic data; rape and forced sterilization of women; and mass internment. Elements of the surveillance and control tactics utilized in Xinjiang are also evident in the regions of Tibet and Inner Mongolia, and even against dissidents in major metropolitan cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.
 
It is for these reasons that we implore the Department of Commerce to restrict trade with entities in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) whose products and services support egregious crimes against civilians. While the U.S. government has made strides towards restricting business with some PRC entities, efforts are still inadequate with respect to PRC research institutions and their affiliates in light of their contributions to the mass weaponization of surveillance functions.
 
Potential partners must be thoroughly vetted to maintain our own national security and to outwardly emphasize that we do not condone the immoral behavior of the CCP. 
 
We strongly urge you to add these additional entities to your agency’s “Entity List” to preserve U.S. values and national security during business ventures and trade negotiations. We look forward to your response.
 
Sincerely,