Their letter of April 3, invoking targeted sanctions against CCP officials, is still unanswered. On the anniversary of the Urumqi massacre, they raise their voice again.
by Marco Respinti
Today July 5, on the tenth anniversary of the massacre of Uyghur protesters in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) that Uyghurs prefer to call East Turkestan, U.S. Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA) and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), the Chair and Cochair respectively of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), issued a statement urging immediate action to address the high-tech surveillance and mass internment of over a million Uyghurs, Kazakhs and others in the region.
“The Chinese government’s efforts to suppress human rights and fundamental freedoms have a long and brutal history in the XUAR,” the statement said. “For the last year,” Mr. McGovern and Mr. Rubio continued, “we have urged the Administration, without success, to take actions to hold Chinese officials and businesses accountable for what may constitute crimes against humanity in the XUAR. The rhetoric has been tough, but it’s not enough given the egregious scope of abuses.”
The CECC co-chairs noted “[…] that there has still been no response to the April 3, 2019 letter we sent, along with 41 of our Congressional colleagues, urging the Administration to urgently address what is one [of] the world’s worst human rights situations. On this sad anniversary, we reiterate that call to hold Chinese officials accountable. The Chinese government has operated with impunity in the XUAR for far too long. The United States must demonstrate moral leadership, and the international community must respond.”
In that letter, addressed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, the signers call for the application of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act under which it is possible for the US to sanction foreign individuals responsible for atrocities, specifically naming Mr. “[…] Chen Quanguo, XUAR Communist Party Secretary and Politburo Member, and other XUAR officials and entities complicit in gross violation of human rights.”
The enforcement of the Magnitsky Act against CCP leaders in the XUAR has been always strongly advocated by CECC, but seems to have been blocked by Treasury for trade interests.