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Rubio Presses New York Times for Answers on Communication With Chinese Communist Party

Dec 9, 2021 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a follow-up letter to A.G. Sulzberger, chairman of The New York Times Company and publisher of The New York Times, after receiving inadequate responses — and, in some instances, no response — to the senator’s inquiries, including his initial November 30, 2021 letter. Rubio’s original letter demanded answers from Sulzberger as to why the New York Times engaged in selective reporting in 2019 and continues to withhold these documents from the public.
 
As first reported by Fox News, Rubio’s follow-up letter “requested the Times answer inquiries he first submitted last month that questioned its failure to release in full 403 pages of leaked documents – including a 2014 secret speech by Xi that ordered the rounding up of Uyghur populations.”
 
“To sit on this information that we know that they’ve had for at least two and a half to three years is really concerning, and it just tells you this is a selective release of information they possess,” Rubio told Fox News in a sit-down interview.
 
“In response to my November 30 letter, Assistant Managing Editor for International Michael Slackman confirmed that the New York Times intentionally withheld nearly every document,” Rubio wrote in the letter. “Perhaps most alarmingly, Mr. Slackman’s response failed to address my direct questions regarding the New York Times’ communication with the Chinese Communist Party about the documents in question. It is a glaring omission that raises the prospect that the Times may have censored its reporters at the request of a genocidal regime.”
 

The full text of the letter is below.

Dear Mr. Sulzberger:

I write once again to request information regarding the New York Times handling of documents that directly linked top Chinese Communist Party officials, including General Secretary Xi Jinping, to the ongoing genocide of Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

In response to my November 30 letter, Assistant Managing Editor for International Michael Slackman confirmed that the New York Times intentionally withheld nearly every document, noting that the paper “created replicas of several pages of the documents for illustrative purposes and to highlight key passages.” Critically important information was contained within the hundreds of pages that were hidden—and continue to be hidden—from the American people and governments across the globe.

Perhaps most alarmingly, Mr. Slackman’s response failed to address my direct questions regarding the New York Timescommunication with the Chinese Communist Party about the documents in question. It is a glaring omission that raises the prospect that the Times may have censored its reporters at the request of a genocidal regime.

For your convenience, I have attached my original letter and note below the questions that Mr. Slackman did not answer directly.

  1. Who made the decision not to release the full documents that someone risked their life to obtain and give to the New York Times in a desperate attempt to save people’s lives in Xinjiang?

The New York Times’ 11/30 response acknowledges that “the Times chose not to publish the documents in their entirety,” citing concerns that doing so would “put the person at risk.”

  • Do you have any proof that the person specifically requested that these documents not be published in full?

  • How was it determined that full publication would jeopardize this person’s safety? Did the Times consider simply transcribing and making the full documents public or releasing the full documents to a select group of experts, as the Uyghur Tribunal has just done, given the importance of these documents, to assess and help stop an ongoing genocide?

  • Why did the New York Times choose to publish a very small portion of the Turpan manual, which was not the most important part of the document, and not Xi’s top-secret speech, if safety concerns applied to the whole document leaked by the same person?

  1. Why did the New York Times choose to misleadingly characterize Xi’s policy goals as simply counterterrorism and blame the atrocities on mid-level Communist Party members when you had documents laying out Xi’s actual genocidal goal?

The New York Times’ 11/30 response says the reporting “showed how a top official in Xinjiang used Mr. Xi’s directives to justify the campaign.” (emphasis added)

  • Why did the New York Times withhold documents and fail to report that Xi explicitly ordered, “those who should be seized should be seized, and those who should be sentenced should be sentenced”?

  • Why did the New York Times fail to mention that Xi’s speeches were classified at the top-secret level?

  1. Did the New York Times have any discussions or communications with the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese Government about any of the 403 pages it received? If so, did the Times make any deal or concessions to withhold the release of any of the documents, including Xi’s speech about what he wanted to do in Xinjiang?

No answer provided.

  1. Did anyone at the New York Times reevaluate that decision after the Trump and Biden administrations determined that the atrocities being committed in Xinjiang constitute crimes against humanity and genocide?

No answer provided.

  1. Will the New York Times commit to release the remaining approximately 86 pages of the document?

No answer provided.

As you know, the recent release by the Uyghur Tribunal of the documents, which the New York Times has held back since 2019, has shed light on Xi’s direct role in the genocide and created new momentum around the world to take action to save millions of lives. The New York Times had a historic responsibility to make public the top-secret documents it had received from someone who risked their life to inform the world of an ongoing genocide. I would like to remind you that the New York Times is still withholding nearly 86 pages of critical documents that could inform the American people, policymakers, and business leaders of critical information surrounding Xi’s direct involvement in atrocities.

I look forward to receiving answers to these questions.

Sincerely,