Washington D.C.—Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Lead Republican of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, spoke on the House Floor in support of the Uighur Act, legislation that holds China accountable for their human rights abuses against ethnic minorities, specifically on Uighur and Turkic Muslims in Western China: 

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-Remarks as Delivered-

“Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the bipartisan Uighur Act. I want commend my colleagues, all three of you from New Jersey, Mr. Smith, Mr. Sires, and you, sir Mr. Malinowski. For the last several years the Communist dictatorship in Beijing has been unleashing a brutal crackdown on Uighur and Turkic Muslims in Western China. It is believed that between one to three million ethnic minorities have been detained and sent to internment camps where they are indoctrinated with state propaganda and tortured. The goal of the Chinese government is to strip these individuals of their religious and cultural identity. Many people detained are never heard from again. Families have been torn apart. Sons and daughters are left wondering if they will ever be reunited with their moms and dads.

“Some of our most senior officials, including National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, have described these detention centers as “concentration camps.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has referred to China’s repression as the “stain of the century.” The Chinese government states that these camps are part of their efforts to combat violent extremism. They also say these detention centers are job training facilities. But what is happening is nothing less than a state-sponsored and systematic campaign designed to enforce a “cultural genocide.” As the beacon of hope and freedom to the rest of the world, the United States cannot stay silent. If we do, our silence will be remembered as our complicity. Our inaction will become our appeasement.

“We know that the Chinese Communist Party would love nothing more than for the rest of the world to mirror its authoritarianism. We cannot allow this to happen. This legislation gives us the opportunity to take real action and help stop these evil crimes. First, it provides that United States policy towards China should be explicitly linked to these human rights abuses. Second, it requires the application of Global Magnitsky sanctions on Chinese officials responsible for repression against Uighur or Turkic Muslims. Third, it mandates the State Department submit to Congress a report on human rights abuses in this western province of China. And fourth, it restricts the export of certain U.S. technology items to China that are used to suppress individual privacy, freedom of movement, and basic human rights.

“This is a very important bill and I would like to thank our colleagues, particularly Representative Brad Sherman who introduced this along with Senator Rubio, for all of their efforts to get this done to where we are today. So let’s come together as Republicans and Democrats to ensure that atrocities committed by the Communist dictatorship in Beijing will have consequences. Let’s show the world that the United States will impose a cost on the Chinese Communist Party’s leaders for their crimes now and in the future.”