CNA Staff, Oct 28, 2020 / 02:30 pm (CNA).- A bipartisan group of senators introduced a resolution on Monday to declare China’s actions against the Uyghur population as a genocide.
The Oct. 26 resolution was co-sponsored by Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ). Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Jeff Merekly (D-OR), James Risch (R-ID) and Maco Rubio (R-FL) also joined in the resolution.
The resolution would express “the sense of the Senate that the atrocities perpetrated by the Government of the People's Republic of China against Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and members of other Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region constitutes genocide.”
It would declare that China is violating the norms outlined in the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and would trigger an international response to China’s actions.
"For far too long, the Chinese government has carried out a despicable campaign of genocide against millions of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims," said Cornyn. "This resolution recognizes these crimes for what they are and is the first step toward holding China accountable for their monstrous actions.”
Menedez said that there was “no question” that the Chinese government’s actions in Xinjiang constitute genocide.
“Stopping a genocide is consistent with our national security and our values, and it starts by standing up and speaking the truth,” he said. Menendez added that he hopes President Donald Trump and Sec. Mike Pompeo will endorse the resolution and work to respond to China.
Risch pointed to the Chinese government’s “systematic use of forced sterilization, abortion, and other practices” in the province of Xinjiang as proof they were committing genocide against an ethnic group.
“I am proud to join colleagues on both sides of the aisle in introducing a resolution that defines them as such,” he said. “The United States and countries around the world must continue to draw attention to what is happening in Xinjiang.”
Whistleblowers have come forward to report their participation in systematic campaigns of forced abortions and sterilizations on the Uyghur population.
Free nations “must urgently come together and press for an end” to the Chinese government’s actions in Xinjiang, said Rubio. He said there was a need to be “clear about the nature of these atrocities.”
“Congress cannot – and must not – turn a blind eye to China’s shocking, systematic abuse of its Uyghur population, as well as of ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgz, and members of other Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region,” said Cardin. He added that human rights violations of this level “demand a forceful U.S. response.”
“That is why I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this resolution, which makes clear that the Senate will not shy away from calling these atrocities what they are: a genocide,” he said.
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