At China Daily News, we’ve focused much of our attention on the ongoing pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong. Because Hong Kong is still (for now) open and accessible, we hear much more about it, and the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement is technically and media-savvy, so it is adept at drawing people’s attention.
Arguably, however, what is happening to the Uyghurs in Xinjiang province is a much larger humanitarian and human rights crisis. According to reports, as many as one million Uyghurs have been rounded up and sent to “re-education” (read “concentration”) camps. [Human Rights Watch report here] [UPDATE: This Financial Times article says 1.5 million Uyghurs have been sent to the camps.]
Of course, the CCP does its best to keep this out of the news and minimize whatever reporting does come out about it. Fortunately, there are prominent leaders in the U.S. that have been paying attention.
Senator Rubio, Florida Republican, has been urging the U.S. Congress to pass the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act and for President Trump to sign it into law. Today, it passed the U.S. Senate, and next will be taken up by the House of Representatives, where it is also very likely to pass.
We completely agree with Senator Rubio’s statement, but would add that it is long overdue that the democracy and freedom-loving people of the whole world start standing up to the CCP’s oppression and bullying, not just of other countries, but of its own people – whether they are Xinjiang Uyghurs, Tibetans, the people of Hong Kong, or the everyday people – the laobaixing -living throughout China. Human rights are human rights – and even if someone happens to live in China, those rights still exist. The CCP may violate and oppress people’s rights, but they cannot take them away – they are inherent in being human.
We urge the full U.S. Congress to pass the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act and the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act as quickly as possible, and for President Trump to sign them into law, irrespective of the status of any trade negotiations taking place with China.