Campaign for Uyghurs (CFU) welcomes the US response to the threat of transnational repression from China. CFU echos the findings and proposed solutions made during the Congressional Executive Commission on China’s (CECC) hearing on how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) engages in transnational repression against Uyghurs, Hong Kongers, Tibetans, dissidents, and others in order to silence criticism, conduct surveillance, and in some cases repatriate critics. The hearing has come to the conclusion that the CCP employs a variety of tactics to engage in transnational repression, including use of technology to monitor and harass victims abroad, threats to victims’ families and loved ones still in China, abuse of INTERPOL mechanisms to secure repatriations, and in-person intimidation and kidnapping overseas.
Senator Jeff Merkley, in his opening statement explained how the CCP targets those that are targeted by the regime saying “They surveil and coerce them in other ways, such as by deploying spyware, threatening them in video calls, or harassing their family members who still live in China.” Representative James McGovern in his opening statement called the CCP hypocritical when targeting Uyghur-Americans that speak out against China’s genocidal policies, saying “Chinese officials have no problem setting aside sovereignty principles when they reach across our border to threaten the human rights of Americans.”
As a response to these threats, Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, Uzra Zeya, in her testimony said that the Biden-Harris Administration is executing strategies to counter, deter, and mitigate the CCP’s prevalence and impact by engaging more with affected groups like the Uyghurs, saying “We are proactively engaging the full spectrum of stakeholders impacted by the PRC’s transnational repression, including most importantly, the targeted communities themselves, such as Uyghurs.”
Serena Hoy, in her testimony, highlighted that the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) needed to increase its efforts in engagement with the Uyghur community, saying “DHS sees the need to amplify and inform these efforts through continuous engagement with the victims of this campaign, including with the Uyghur diaspora.”
CFU calls on policy-makers, legislators, elected officials and citizens to take these findings very seriously because human rights and democratic values, the rules-based international order and our institutions are directly threatened by China’s transnational repression. It also poses a direct threat to citizens and communities around the world. Our attention, seriousness, and resources should be devoted to dealing with this serious threat. Partnerships and alliances are integral to this effort.