Washington, DC – House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul delivered the following opening statement and questions at a full committee hearing on the genocide being committed by the Chinese Communist Party against Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minorities. 

Following her powerful opening statement, Lead Republican Michael McCaul asked Ms. Tursunay Ziyawudun, a survivor of the CCP’s atrocities, about her personal experience in a concentration camp. 

Lead Republican McCaul: “I want to thank Ms. Tursunay for her powerful testimony. As you were Mr. Chairman, I was also very moved by her personal experience but also her courage and bravery to speak out and speak out the truth, even though the threat from the CCP is very real. So Ms. Tursunay, I had a question for you. Can you explain to members of this committee why the CCP views the Uyghur Muslim culture and religion as such a threat that it would open up concentration camps and commit these horrific acts of genocide?”

Ms. Tursunay (as interpreted): “I also want to say thank you to you. Similarly, I also don’t exactly understand why. But they truly to seem to feel that we are terrifying. In the time when I was in the concentration camp, we had nothing on our persons. The police had weapons and still they treated us like we were terrifying. It seems to me that they want to get rid of us from this earth. I don’t understand. But this really is a threat to the whole world and I think that they are sending this threat to the world through what they are doing to Uyghurs.”

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-Opening Remarks as Delivered-

“Thank you, Mr. Chairman for holding this important hearing. And thank you for working with me on the resolution and on this very important issue.

I think the eyes of the world are watching and certainly the Communist Party of China is watching as we speak.

The genocide against the Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party is the moral test of our time.

There are few other issues that demand this level of attention not just from our own Committee, but from the world.

Elevating this issue was one of the key recommendations made by the China Task Force that I chaired, so I’m grateful we can give it the bipartisan attention it deserves.

I’m also grateful, Mr. Chairman, that you joined with me to introduce and pass a Resolution condemning this genocide and calling for action. 

When our Resolution passes the House, it will ensure we are speaking in a united voice with the current and prior administrations by calling these ongoing atrocities genocide.

Continuing this bipartisan effort will be essential as we respond to this crisis, and I thank you for being my partner on this issue.

‘Genocide’ is a term that we reserve for history’s most serious crimes against humanity.

It’s essential we get our response right, not as Republicans and Democrats, but as Americans. Because we’ve faced this test before, and we haven’t always passed that test.

Our response to the Uyghur genocide should be an example of our character, rather than a stain on our history.

This humanitarian crisis is about more than just U.S. foreign policy toward the People’s Republic of China.

It is about the legitimacy of the post-World War system designed to stop these atrocities whenever and wherever they are being committed.

It is about how we stop the CCP from contaminating consumer supply chains with slave labor.

It is about how we stop using cotton sourced from the Uyghur homeland and picked by those without a voice. 

And it is about how we convince our private sector to act consistently with American values, after they developed a reliance on the PRC’s consumer market over the last 40 years as the U.S. attempted to bring China into the family of nations – and failed.

That’s why I’m disappointed our minority witness declined our invitation to join us this afternoon.

I did invite Nike Incorporated, an American company that’s now struggling with the moral challenge many American companies face. 

Some analysts have claimed Nike’s supply chain is tainted by forced labor in China.

Nike has publicly denied they source from Uyghur areas and have denied Uyghur forced labor exists in their factories.

Simply taking a stand against forced labor has exposed them to a massive boycott effort led by the CCP’s online mouthpieces.  

However, we can assume that part of their decision process may have been the likely backlash from the CCP.

On the other end of the spectrum is Disney, which actually thanked the CCP propaganda office responsible for covering up the Uyghur genocide, in the end credits of one of their most recent films, Mulan. And they actually filmed portions of the movie in Xinjiang province.

We cannot put profits ahead of doing what’s right.

The American people need to hear from those companies doing business with the CCP – whether they’re household names who are trying to do the right thing, or they’re companies who shamelessly do the bidding of the CCP to maintain their market access no matter what the moral cost is.    

The true nature of these Faustian deals needs to come to light so consumers can begin to know where their money is going. 

Even though Nike has declined to join us today, we’re still honored to be joined by an excellent panel of witnesses who use their voices to stand up for Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minorities who are persecuted by the CCP.

So I want to thank you again, Mr. Chairman for your hard work in this effort and thank you so much for holding this hearing. I yield back.”