Romney, Colleagues Condemn China’s Human Rights Abuses Against Uyghurs

Bipartisan resolution condemns treatment of religious and ethnic groups, seeks to build international investigation into human rights abuses and crimes in Xinjiang

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), Ranking Member of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, today joined Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Edward Markey (D-MA), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), and Tim Kaine (D-VA), in introducing a resolution condemning the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for its treatment of the Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang and calling for an international investigation into the abuses and crimes committed there.

“The Chinese Communist Party is exacting genocide against the Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region,” said Senator Romney, Ranking Member of the East Asia Subcommittee. “With this resolution, we condemn the CCP’s treatment of the Uyghur people and call for an investigation into the crimes and abuses committed against them.”

“Whether on behalf of individuals like Ekpar Asat – a Uyghur journalist and entrepreneur who has been unjustly detained since 2016 – or entire groups who are victims of forced labor or monitored by mass surveillance systems, we must speak out against the abuses taking place in Xinjiang,” said Senator Coons. “We’re calling on the United States and our allies and partners to ensure a credible investigation into crimes committed by the PRC government in Xinjiang. We should cooperate with the PRC when possible, but we cannot turn a blind eye to the government’s blatant disregard for the human rights of its own citizens.”

“I’m proud to join Senator Coons in introducing this bipartisan resolution condemning the egregious human rights violations, including genocide and crimes against humanity against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang,” said Senator Rubio. “The Trump administration was right to issue a genocide determination and the time is now for the Biden administration to take meaningful action and lead our allies and partners to put an end to these abusers and bring forth accountability and justice for the perpetrators.”

“We must speak in one voice against China’s campaign to deprive its Uyghur and other Central Asian and religious minorities of their fundamental rights,” said Senator Markey, Chair of the East Asia Subcommittee. “While President Trump’s pursuit of a trade deal with China reportedly took precedent over his concern for atrocities committed by Beijing, I know that the Biden administration will use every economic and diplomatic tool at its disposal to hold perpetrators to account for their crimes – and rally the world to take similar action. Beijing’s attempts to erase the identity of an entire group, in the 21st Century, will not succeed.”

“The Chinese Communist Party continues to pursue repressive and cruel dictatorial rule against people in China, including engaging in genocide and crimes against humanity with respect to Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang,” said Senator Hagerty. “I’m proud to join my colleagues to introduce this bipartisan resolution strongly condemning the CCP-controlled Chinese government for these barbaric actions and demanding an investigation.”

“For years, the Chinese government has waged a horrific campaign to forcibly assimilate Uyghur Muslims and eliminate their cultural and religious practices,” said Senator Kaine. “Congress must continue to call out the ongoing abuses in Xinjiang and pressure China about its devastating treatment of other religious and ethnic minorities as well.”

“This resolution lends critical support to a simple proposition: that no government, including one as powerful as China’s, should expect impunity when it commits serious human rights violations,” said Sophie Richardson, China Director at Human Rights Watch.

Full text of the resolution is available here.