By Marco Rubio
31 Oct 2019
extent of Beijing’s evil is finally coming into view. As the world watches the
ongoing democratic uprising in Hong Kong, it is impossible to ignore the
greater backdrop of oppression and egregious human rights abuses across China:
more than 1 million religious minorities now in Xinjiang’s modern-day
concentration camps, vast efforts at cultural reprogramming, and regular
Sauytbay, a Chinese Muslim of Kazakh descent, described being separated from
her family and kept in Xinjiang under heinous conditions, where prisoners were
routinely punished for observing their faith and having insufficient knowledge
about Chinese culture or language.
last several months, the steady trickle of horrifying stories has provided a
fuller picture of the kinds of evils regularly occurring within these camps. We
have now heard credible accounts of relentless brainwashing, systematic sexual
abuse and extensive physical punishments, like fingernails ripped out and
some of the darkest stories ever told, yet they are critical to air to the
world. Now, we hear them with terrible frequency. In Congress, Nury Turkel,
chair of the board for the Uyghur Human Rights Project, recently provided
testimony, explaining that speaking “may cost the lives of [his] parents, but …
it’s the right thing to do”.
must recognize that this evil is not exclusive to Xinjiang or even to the
nation’s Muslims, but one more consistent with the Chinese Communist party’s
greater philosophy. Any religion or ideology that recognizes a higher power
than the party is a threat that must be brought to heel or eliminated.
Political and cultural conformity must be enforced at all costs.
We see this
in Xinjiang. We increasingly see it among the Hui, a separate population of
Chinese Muslims with no history of radicalization, who are now regularly
surveilled and repressed, and whose mosques are being stripped of their
distinctive domes. We have seen it in Tibet, where monasteries have been
destroyed for decades and the Buddhist faithful imprisoned and tortured for
peaceful protest. We have seen it in China’s numerous Christian communities,
where intense persecution has forced millions to practice their religion
underground. We have even seen it in tiny, ancient sects like that of Kaifeng’s
Jews, where the government recently banned communal worship for Passover and
other holidays, as well as destroyed signs to erase evidence of the community’s
goal is sinicization: the forced transformation of religious and ethnic
minorities into narrow, party-approved cultural, ideological and ethnic norms.
In its worst forms, it’s a eugenic project, which explains why the government
pressures Uyghur women to have fewer children and marry outside their
Most of the
work to shine light on the atrocities that sinicisation requires has occurred
outside of the organs of American government so far. For that, we owe a debt of
gratitude to individual dissidents who have escaped diasporic minority
communities, international watchdog organizations and individual researchers
action is required on the part of the US government. My Uyghur Human Rights
Policy Act of 2019 – which would direct our government to collect and publicize
information about China’s abuses in Xinjiang as well as Chinese intimidation of
US citizens and legal permanent residents (LPRs) – has already passed
unanimously in the Senate. The legislation urges the application of Global Magnitsky
and other sanctions, a review of export controls, and the establishment of a
voluntary database that American citizens and LPRs could use to provide
information on missing family members.
now awaits final passage in the House. It would represent an important first
step at striking back against this tremendous injustice.
international community cannot turn a blind eye to what is unfolding in
Xinjiang, Tibet, Ningxia and throughout the rest of China. The Chinese
Communist party’s ideological commitment to totalitarianism has become
mobilized into regular, brutal action, intended to forcibly assimilate anyone
who dares question the Communist party’s political and cultural control.
Lawmakers in free capitals around the world must step up and counter this evil.
Rubio is a US senator for Florida
Headline: We must stand up to China's
abuse of its Muslim minorities
Source: The Guardian