US National Security Advisor Robert C. O’Brien has said that United States will continue to “shine the light of truth” to bring forth the “horrifying repression” of Uighurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities by the Chinese authorities in Xinjiang.
“Under Marxism-Leninism, the self-proclaimed ideology of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), individuals do not possess inherent value. People are merely a tool to achieve the ends of the collective nation-state. The idea may sound inhumane, but it is as fundamental to the CCP as the Bill of Rights is to Americans. And the philosophy helps explain the CCP’s horrifying repression of Uighurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities throughout the Xinjiang province,” O’Brien said.
He pointed out that US had recently imposed sanctions against senior Chinese officials over human rights violations in Xinjiang.
“Earlier this month, the Trump administration announced a business advisory for U.S. companies with supply-chain exposure to entities engaged in the CCP’s use of forced labor and other human rights abuses in Xinjiang,” O’Brien said.
“The president has also imposed export restrictions against 21 Chinese government entities and 16 Chinese companies complicit in China’s campaign of repression, population control, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs and other minorities,” he added.
Terming the details of CCP’s anti-Uighur campaign as “heartbreaking”, he said: “Whenever Chinese people dare defy the party by asserting their individual humanity, they stop being useful to the state and become a problem to solve the only way the CCP knows how: suppression and coercion.”
The Uighurs are a majority in the Xinjiang province, situated in western part of China. Many international human rights organizations have accused China of persecution against the Uighurs by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and sending members of the community to undergo some form of forceful re-education or indoctrination.
O’Brien also decried the extensive and extraordinary surveillance system in Xinjiang.
“More than 1 million CCP cadres, most of them men, reportedly live in Uighur homes while the household’s adult males are in detention. Children as young as 2 years old are taken from their homes and raised in party-run orphanages,” he said.
“Mosques are under constant surveillance and are being either “Sinicized” — made subordinate to Chinese culture — or destroyed at the party’s direction. The CCP is even reinterpreting Islam’s sacred book, the Koran, to align with its worldview,” added O’Brien.
He noted that in 2016, while the CCP replaced the country’s “one child” policy with incentives for the Han Chinese majority to have more children, but the one-child policy was reinforced for Uighur families.
O’Brien asserted that in Kashgar and Hotan, two of the prefectures that make up the Uighur heartland, the natural population growth rate (birth rates minus death rates) fell by 84 per cent between 2015 and 2018 while in 2019, birthrates in Xinjiang’s ethnic-minority regions fell between 30 and 56 per cent while birth rates across China fell by only 4.2 per cent.
The US, he said, continues to stand against these policies, especially as they are aimed at Uighurs.
He also underlined that as long as these human rights violations will continue, the Donald Trump administration will continue to respond.
“If the past century has shown us anything, it is that dangerous ideologies backed by powerful states rarely confine their malign conduct within their own borders. The United States will thus continue to shine the light of truth on Xinjiang — for the Uighurs and for us all,” said O’Brien.