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Rep. Schiff Statement on Xinjiang Genocide Designation

01.22.21

Washington D.C. – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) released a statement following the U.S. State Department’s decision to formally designate the atrocities in Xinjiang as a “genocide.” Over the past four years, China’s leaders have perpetrated a campaign to forcibly eliminate the rich cultural heritage of Uyghurs and other ethnic Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region and elsewhere.

“The United States must speak plainly and clearly about genocide and crimes against humanity, whether it has occurred in the past, like the Armenian Genocide, or it is happening today. The State Department’s decision to formally designate the atrocities in Xinjiang as a ‘genocide’ is the right one, and must spur additional concrete actions.

“It is my hope that the Biden Administration will work with Congress to hold to account those responsible for these heinous crimes. As a first step, I look forward to implementation of the provisions of the Intelligence Authorization Act, which requires the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to provide a full, declassified, and public accounting of these crimes.

“Over the past four years, China’s leaders have perpetrated a campaign to forcibly eliminate the rich cultural heritage of Uyghurs and other ethnic Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region and elsewhere. More than one million individuals have been arbitrarily detained in concentration camps, forced to renounce their faith, and stripped of whatever limited rights of freedom of expression remain. Survivors of the camps have bravely testified to harrowing accounts of forced sterilization and abortion, and to the separation of children from their parents for the purpose of ideological indoctrination. Underpinning these disturbing atrocities is a growing surveillance state, where facial recognition and artificial intelligence enable a web of neo-authoritarian policing.

“China’s leadership must understand that human rights will be at the center of the United States’ approach to China, and in the new Administration, we are determined to reassert the United States’ global leadership. Any action by China to retaliate over this designation will only strengthen our resolve to hold those responsible for these atrocities to account.”

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