In a recent interview with the Daily Caller, Sam Brownback, US ambassador of international religious freedom, made no attempt to pull any punches when he stated that the Communist Party of China was waging an all-out war on faith. China has even reportedly gone so far as to sanction those US officials who are shining a light on Beijing and their treatment of religious minorities.
Brownback explained the US’s ongoing efforts to hold China’s government to task for their alleged abuses of human rights aimed at Uighurs and other such Muslin minorities in the region of Xinjiang. The region has recently drawn attention for its scathing reports of forced labor, indoctrination, and torture camps, all of which target the population.
Brownback, along with his fellow Republicans Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Chris Smith, were themselves sanction in early July by Chinese officials. The move was seen as being in retaliation for the US’s sanctions on the officials of the Chinese government for their treatment of religious minorities. Brownback drew attention to the critical nature of the sanctions, calling the response aggressive.
Brownback went on to say that the US was responding aggressively, and much more clearly than any other nation. He also said that when the US sanctioned Chen Quanguo, they sent a powerful statement to politburo members as well.
The Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) party secretary, Quanguo, has garnered a reputation as an innovator in ethnic policy, geared towards the pioneering methods that secure the CCP control of the regions ethnic minorities. Others targeted in the sanctions include Xinjiang official Zhu Hailun, police boss Wang Mingshan, and both men’s immediate families.
In their attempts to monitor the religious minorities, the government of China has reportedly developed a high-tech state of surveillance that makes use of facial recognition and artificial intelligence. As a result, the groups being monitored have to operate underground in the attempts to evade the strict controls levied by the government.
A reported 1,300 concentration camps in Xinjiang now hold Uighur Muslims, some crimes listed as the wearing of long beards or the rejection of drinking alcohol. Initially said to be for reeducation, reports indicate they have transitioned to those of forced labor, with incidents of torture and rape reported as well.
Brownback hinted that there is potential legislation in the wings that is targeted specifically towards those supply chain parts that are dependent on the reported forced labor.
Are the sanctions levied by the US against the Chinese government going to be enough?