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Rep. Young Kim Speaks at House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing

Washington, DC – Today, House Indo-Pacific Subcommittee Chairwoman Young Kim (CA-40) and Ranking Member Ami Bera (CA-06) introduced the Uyghur Policy Act. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

This bipartisan, bicameral bill would create a comprehensive, multilateral strategy to raise international awareness of the persecution of Uyghurs, direct the State Department to effectively respond to human rights challenges in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and push back on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) efforts to silence Uyghur voices.  

The Uyghur Policy Act passed the House with overwhelmingly bipartisan support last Congress.

“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,” said Rep. Young Kim, Chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Indo-Pacific. “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.

“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” said Rep. Ami Bera, M.D., Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Indo-Pacific. “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.”

“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,” saidSenator Rubio.

“Rep. Kim’s bill is important because it ensures that the US commitment to fighting the atrocity crimes is not just words — it’s policy. Uyghurs have been waiting for such legislation for a long time. We thank Rep. Kim and her colleagues for bringing together Democrats and Republicans to stand with Uyghurs,” said Omer Kanat, Executive Director, Uyghur Human Rights Project.

Reps. Amata Radewagen (AS-AL), Brad Sherman (CA-32), French Hill (AR-02), Claudia Tenney (NY-24), Bill Johnson (OH-06), Dean Phillips (MN-03), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Scott Peters (CA-50), Dina Titus (NV-01), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Kelly Armstrong (ND-AL), William R. Keating (MA-09), Jim Costa (CA-21), Susan Wild (PA-07), Jill Tokuda (HI-02), and Jennifer Wexton (VA-10) are original cosponsors of the bill.

The Uyghur Policy Act would: 

  • Create a Special Coordinator for Uyghur Issues within the State Department; 
  • Direct the U.S. Agency for Global Media to disseminate information concerning Uyghurs and other minority groups in the XUAR to Islamic majority countries; 
  • Require the State Department to offer Uyghur language training to Foreign Service Officers and to assign a Uyghur-fluent officer to a U.S. diplomatic or consular mission in China; 
  • Call on the U.S. Government to develop a strategy, in coordination with like-minded countries, to pressure the PRC to close all detention facilities and push for the immediate release of those detained; and, 
  • Support U.S. efforts to raise Uyghur issues at the United Nations, including by supporting the appointment of a special rapporteur for the XUAR for human rights violations and abuses.

Read the Uyghur Policy Act here.

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