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Rep. Young Kim

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Young Kim (CA-40), who serves as Chairwoman of the Indo-Pacific Subcommittee, led a letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom with California Republican members expressing disappointment about his refusal to prioritize human rights abuses and fentanyl proliferation by the Chinese Communist Party during his upcoming trip to China. The letter calls on Governor Newsom to cancel his trip. 

Governor Newsom told reporters his trip is solely focused on climate change. Newsom plans to overlook human rights abuses against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang and fentanyl laundering operations because they are “federal issues.” 

Rep. Kim was joined by California Reps. Kevin McCarthy (CA-20), Ken Calvert (CA-41), Darrell Issa (CA-48), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), David Valadao (CA-22), Mike Garcia (CA-27), Michelle Steel (CA-45), Jay Obernolte (CA-23), Kevin Kiley (CA-03), and John Duarte (CA-13) in sending the letter. 

Read the letter HERE and highlights below. 

We write you to express concerns regarding your upcoming trip to the People’s Republic of China (PRC).  
On Monday, October 16th, you told reporters, “The trip is wholly focused on climate, and we are obviously a state, so I think we look to our federal partners on federal issues.” Federalism should not serve as an excuse for you to avoid having difficult conversations about the Communist Chinese Party’s (CCP) gross violations of human rights and documented genocide of ethnic minorities. Furthermore, your trip should also serve as an opportunity to demand that CCP officials take action to prevent PRC-sourced fentanyl precursors from entering the U.S. In just three years, between 2019 and 2021, California’s opioid-related deaths spiked 121% according to California’s health department due in large part to the prevalence of fentanyl in our communities.  

According to your press release, you will be traveling to Hong Kong to have a conversation that “will focus on shared efforts to combat climate change while fostering strong economic growth.”  

As you know, the CCP has long waged a successful malign influence campaign that has corroded democratic institutions and the judicial system in Hong Kong. While you are having conversations with officials about “fostering strong economic growth”, you should keep in mind that near you there will be reporters and activists being tried for violations of Hong Kong’s national security law, which criminalized speaking out against the CCP and its ideology.  
We are also aware that you will have engagements with high level CCP officials in Beijing to sign MOUs on climate cooperation between California and the CCP. We believe that it would be an affront to California if you engage with these officials and fail to raise issues such as the genocide of minorities in Xinjiang and Tibet, transnational repression of dissidents, and other gross violations of human rights. In Xinjiang, the CCP is subjecting Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities to forced political indoctrination, torture, beatings, rape, forced sterilization, and food deprivation. In Tibet, the CCP is forcibly disappearing dissidents, suppressing religion, and enforcing draconian laws to control the Tibetan people and try to erase their culture.  
The CCP is getting more brazen in its violations of human rights and aggression towards democratic partners and allies in the Indo- Pacific. Additionally, the CCP refuses to cooperate with the U.S. on the fentanyl crisis.  For you to turn a blind eye and not raise how the opioid epidemic is impacting the state of California, would be a disservice and a slap on the face for the thousands of families that have lost their loved ones due to a fentanyl overdose. These issues are too pressing for you to overlook as they deeply impact our constituents. Given your refusal to discuss human rights and the fentanyl crisis with the CCP, we do not see how this trip will benefit Californians. We call on you to cancel your trip. 

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