April 20, 2023
As recent arrests by federal law enforcement have shown, dissidents who oppose the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continue to be targets of intimidation campaigns by CCP security and intelligence officials on U.S. soil.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) reintroduced the Uyghur Policy Act. This bipartisan bill would increase U.S. support for the Uyghur diaspora in the United States and other countries, as well as advocate for improving the conditions of Uyghurs in China who suffer human rights abuses at the hands of the CCP.
“The CCP is carrying out a disgusting campaign of genocide and human rights abuses committed against Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups. The United States cannot be silent in the face of such horrific abuse. I’m proud to re-introduce legislation to increase awareness and advocacy for Uyghurs, and I urge my colleagues to quickly pass this bill.”– Senator Rubio
U.S. Representatives Young Kim (R-CA) and Ami Bera (D-CA) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
“Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities – just because of their identity – are repeatedly silenced, detained, imprisoned, tortured, and brainwashed in concentration camps led by the Chinese Communist Party. We must say no to Uyghur genocide and the CCP’s repeated disinformation, coercion, and abuse. The Uyghur Policy Act equips the U.S. with tools needed to support the basic human rights and distinct identities of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region subject to the CCP’s inhumane treatment. I will continue to firmly push back against the CCP’s abuses and support human rights and freedom around the world.” - Congresswoman Kim
“Despite widespread international condemnation, the Chinese Communist Party continues to target Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic and religious minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region for their culture and beliefs. Our nation has a responsibility to lead by example and work closely with the global community to defend and advance human rights and freedoms. The Uyghur Policy Act reaffirms America’s commitment to defending democratic values abroad and bolsters our response to these atrocities by ensuring interagency cooperation and providing the State Department with the resources to effectively respond to this crisis.”- Congressman Bera, Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Indo-Pacific
Specifically, the bill:
Directs the U.S. Department of State to include Uyghur human rights activists in its U.S. Speaker program to speak at public diplomacy forums in Muslim majority countries about the repression of Uyghurs and other minority groups in Xinjiang.
Requires a strategy from the Department of State on how the Department will seek to use diplomatic meetings with CCP officials in order to gain access to detention facilities in Xinjiang and secure the release of detained Uyghurs.
Requires the U.S. Secretary of State to make available Uyghur language training to Foreign Service Officers (FSO).
Requires that at least one Uyghur-speaking FSO be assigned to each U.S. diplomatic and consular mission in China, Turkey, and other nations hosting Uyghur diaspora populations.
Directs the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) to oppose any motion that would prevent consideration of issues related to Uyghurs and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in UN activities.