Washington, DC – House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul gave the following opening statement at a full committee markup of various measures. As Lead Republican McCaul spoke about his resolution with Chairman Meeks condemning the genocide by the Chinese Communist Party against Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minorities, drone photographs in China were shown in the committee room. 

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-Opening Remarks as Delivered-

“Thank you, Chairman Meeks for having this markup today. Once again, in a bipartisan manner. I want to thank you for working with me and the staff, I commend the whole team, for honoring the traditions of this committee.

I’d like to start today by discussing an issue very close to my heart, and very close to the hearts of many Americans.

Today we are considering a resolution introduced by Mr. Pfluger, a good Texan, and myself calling for the release of Trevor Reed, also a good Texan, who is still being held as a political pawn, a political prisoner in Russia.  

Trevor Reed is a 29-year-old Texas resident and former United States Marine, who served his country with distinction. He is not a criminal.

Yet the Putin regime is treating him like he is one; sentencing him to nine years in a Russian prison for a crime he did not commit. 

I’ve met with Trevor’s family on several occasions. And you can see the heartbreak written all over their face.

All they want is to get their son home. As a father of five, I cannot imagine being in their shoes. I’ve been told the Reed family is actually watching this markup as I speak.

I want to let them know the United States Congress will not rest – and I personally will not rest – until he has been safely reunited with you.

I want to thank my colleague from Texas, Mr. Pfluger for introducing this resolution and Chairman, for your support. Help is going to be on the way. In fact, Mr. Pfluger and I spoke with the Secretary of State at our Afghanistan briefing on this very issue to raise it to his attention.

I also want to thank my good friend, Joe Wilson, for his tireless efforts on the Ukraine Religious Freedom Support Act and his Rewards for Justice bill. Both measures I have been very supportive of and I am pleased they are being considered today.

Also, I’m proud to be the lead Republican on Mr. Trone’s bill, formerly on this committee, the Fentanyl Results Act and I appreciate his work on this important issue affecting so many Americans. Let’s get it passed, let’s get it to the Senate, and let’s hope the Senate does their job and passes it as well.

Lastly, I want to thank you, Chairman Meeks, and your staff for working with me for months on a resolution of great importance condemning the genocide being committed by the People’s Republic of China, under the direction and control of the Chinese Communist Party.

I would call everyone’s attention to the photos being shown on the screen. It is horrific. This is actually happening in China today.

Under the direction and control of the Chinese Communist Party, against Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups.

The photos you are seeing on the screen in the hearing room right now show the horrific truth of this genocide.

Hundreds of Uyghurs, being marched off trains; shackled, blindfolded, and led into internment camps.

It’s a chilling reminder of the true nature of the CCP’s genocide. 

I understand there has been some debate on this, but to be clear: this is not a nuanced legal issue.

The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide clearly states a genocide is acting with the intent to destroy – in whole or part – an ethnic, racial, or religious group.

So let’s look at the facts.

More than one million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities have been detained by the CCP.  

There are multiple, credible reports these innocent people are being subjected to forced labor; forced sterilization and abortions; torture; family separation; sexual abuse; and family members have reported disappearances and even deaths.

CCP officials have portrayed Uyghurs as, quote, “malignant tumors.”

They have compared their faith to a quote, “communicable plague.

And they said, quote, “you can’t uproot all the weeds hidden among the crops… you need…to kill them all.” 

It is disgusting, it is truly horrific.

Secretaries Pompeo and Blinken have each said genocide is occurring in the PRC.

In the last several months, Canada’s parliament and the Dutch parliament have done the same. And the United Kingdom’s House of Commons will vote tomorrow on this issue.

So, it is time, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for working with me. It is time the United States Congress steps up and speaks out against the genocide and crimes against humanity being committed by the CCP.

We have a moral obligation today and tomorrow to recognize these crimes for what they really are – genocide. The Chinese Communist Party is watching closely what we are doing here today.

And in fact, the world is watching.

I urge everyone to support this important resolution so we can send a strong, bipartisan message that the United States stands against genocide – anywhere, everywhere – and it stands against human rights abuses.

We stand for freedom and democracy.

Thank you again Mr. Chairman, and I yield back my time.”