Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R), a vocal critic of the Chinese Communist Party, has introduced the Uyghur Policy Act. The legislation would “increase U.S. support for the Uyghur diaspora in the United States and other countries” while also advocating “for improving the conditions of Uyghurs suffering human rights abuses at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”
The CCP has been the subject of controversy and criticism over its numerous human rights violations, and the Florida Republican has warned against the threat that the CCP poses.
This extends to the technological threat that the country poses amidst growing tension between the country and the U.S.
Rubio, as the Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee, which is in charge of overseeing Global Human Rights, and as the Senate Ranking Member of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, introduced the legislation that addresses human rights violations against Uyghur muslims in the country.
Rubio commented that “the CCP is carrying out a disgusting campaign of genocide and human rights abuses committed against Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups,” adding that “the United States cannot be silent in the face of such horrific abuse.”
Citing the goal of increasing “awareness and advocacy for Uyghurs,” the legislation has gained bipartisan support in Congress with California Rep. Ami Bera (D) and California Rep. Young Kim (R) introducing the companion legislation in the House.
According to a press release from Rubio, the bill tackles a number of concerns, which include the following:
- Directs the U.S. Department of State to include Uyghur human rights activists in its U.S. Speaker program to speak at public diplomacy forums in Muslim majority countries about the repression of Uyghurs and other minority groups in Xinjiang.
- Requires a strategy from the Department of State on how the Department will seek to use diplomatic meetings with CCP officials in order to gain access to detention facilities in Xinjiang and secure the release of detained Uyghurs.
- Requires the U.S. Secretary of State to make available Uyghur language training to Foreign Service Officers (FSOs).
- Requires that at least one Uyghur-speaking FSO is assigned to each U.S. diplomatic and consular mission in China, Turkey and other nations hosting Uyghur diaspora populations.
- Directs the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) to oppose any motion that would prevent consideration of issues related to Uyghurs and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in UN activities.