China’s Human Rights Issues Dominate U.S. and Europe Religious, Racial Persecution, Forced Labor in Spotlight

On July 13, several people concerned about religious persecution in China and human rights issues in Xinjiang called on the United States and allied countries to continue to increase sanctions against China to force it to change its racial and religious policies. Meanwhile, EU lawmakers sanctioned by China said that China must withdraw its sanctions in order to move forward with the China-EU Comprehensive Investment Agreement.

Stakeholders Testify on Religious and Racial Persecution in China

On July 13, ChinaAid President Fu Xiqiu urged the U.S. government to continue to implement and use global Magnitsky sanctions against members of the Chinese Communist Party who authorize and commit serious human rights violations at the 2021 Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Global Hearing on Religious Freedom. sanctions.

“The U.S. government should continue to work with like-minded countries to implement the bilateral sanctions announced in March 2021,” said Fu Xiqiu. “I also urge Congress to pass the Forced Uighur Labor Prevention Act as soon as possible to counter the vast system of forced labor established by the Chinese Communist Party. In addition, the United States should boycott the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and call on other countries that adhere to universal values to do the same. Chinese prisoners of conscience should also be admitted to the U.S. through the ‘Defend Freedom’ program as an expression of solidarity with victims of religious persecution.”

Since the launch of the Five-Year Plan for the Sinicization of Religion in 2018, the persecution of churches and Christians in mainland China by the Chinese Communist Party has intensified dramatically with unprecedented brutality, according to Fu Xiqiu. According to data provided by Fu Xiqiu, the Chinese Communist Party persecuted more than 100,000 religious people in 2018, more than three times the number recorded in 2017. This includes 10,000 church leaders. In addition, the Chinese government has become increasingly aggressive in its persecution methods, with a sharp increase in the use of violence such as beatings and arson.

Gulzira Awal Khan, a survivor of the Xinjiang internment camps in exile in the United States, has been a member of the Chinese government for more than 20 years. Gulzira Auyelkhan, a survivor of the Xinjiang internment camps in exile in the United States, asked the United States and the international community to take immediate action to stop the massacre of ethnic minorities in the camps before they become “lifeless” statistics.

“One of the most horrific things I witnessed was the systematic and organized rape of women in the camps by the Chinese Communist Party. I heard some of the women crying out in handcuffs after being sent to small rooms by their jailers, saying that the Chinese men raped them. When the brutal men left, the guards forced me to give these women a bath.” Guzla. Awal Khan said, “The most painful requirement for me was that the prisoners could not cry. If we cried, the guards would think we were infected with wrong or inappropriate ideas and ask us to sit on the ‘tiger bench’ for 14 hours. Either that or they would send us to other, stricter concentration camps.”

Sanctioned EU MEP: Lift Sanctions to Negotiate Investment Deal

Since last July, the United States has placed a number of officials, including Chen Guanguo, party secretary of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Zhu Hailun, former secretary of the political and legal committee, and Wang Mingshan, vice chairman of the Xinjiang government and party secretary and head of the Public Security Department, as well as a number of entities on the sanctions list, citing major human rights violations involved. On March 22 of this year, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada followed suit, also imposing sanctions on Chinese officials who assisted in human rights violations in Xinjiang. The Chinese government was also the first to launch a counterattack, and on March 22 the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued an urgent statement announcing sanctions against ten European MEPs, academics and four entities, including MEPs Reinhard Butikofer and Raphaël Glucksmann.

Speaking at a webinar on July 13 at the Hudson Institute, a U.S. think tank, Butikofer said the European Parliament should include human rights issues on the agenda of the China-EU Comprehensive Investment Agreement negotiations in order to put pressure on the Chinese Communist authorities.

One of the European Parliament’s criticisms of the CEIBS is that the agreement does not adequately address the issue of forced labor in Xinjiang,” Petitkopfel said. The European Parliament has discussed this many times and believes that if this is not taken into account, we should not sign this agreement. We saw a very aggressive step by China in targeting not only some individuals in the EU, but also members of the European Parliament and the European Commission of Human Rights. So the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly to freeze this investment agreement. If China lifts the sanctions, then we will go back to the ban on forced labor and continue the negotiations.”

On May 20, the EU Parliament overwhelmingly passed a resolution to freeze the ratification process of the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) in response to Beijing’s counter-sanctions against EU persons.

The EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI), which was agreed upon in December 2020 after seven years of consultations and thirty-five rounds of negotiations, was scheduled to be adopted by the European Parliament this year. In the resolution adopted, the European Parliament noted that the EU sanctions against China for human rights violations are in line with international law, while China’s sanctions are arbitrary and lack legal basis. The European Parliament asked China to lift the sanctions before moving forward with the investment agreement.

Glucksman argued that the EU should use trade instruments, including removing forced labor from the industrial chain and banning Chinese goods from the EU market, to force the Chinese Communist Party to close the Xinjiang detention camp. He said the EU should join forces with the United States to continue to sanction China for human rights violations through multilateral international organizations.

Meanwhile, the State Department, in conjunction with the Departments of Treasury, Commerce, Homeland Security, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and Labor, issued an updated version of the “Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory Bulletin” on March 13 to address the ongoing genocide, crimes against humanity, and forced labor committed by the Chinese Communist Party in Xinjiang. The State Department said in the statement that companies and individuals who do not withdraw from supply chain or investment ties with Xinjiang may be at risk of violating U.S. law.