Sun, 28 May 2023

WASHINGTON D.C.: A new US Congressional committee focusing on China held its second hearing on the alleged abuses of the Uyghur people and other ethnic minorities in China's Xinjiang region.

Beijing is accused of committing abuses, including forced labor and mass surveillance against the mainly Muslim Uyghurs, as well as interning more than 1 million people in a network of camps in Xinjiang.

Before the hearing, Congressman Mike Gallagher, Republican chairman of the House of Representatives Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, said that Xinjiang "should serve as a warning for what the world would look like under CCP leadership."

The House panel heard testimony from Gulbahar Haitiwaji, a Uyghur woman who recounted her experience in what she said were years spent in camps where she faced abuse and forced patriotic education.

Qelbinur Sidik, an ethnic Uzbek assigned as a teacher in one such camp, also described prison-like conditions where detainees faced torture and interrogation.

Testimony was also heard from prominent Uyghur American lawyer Nury Turkel, German researcher Adrian Zenz, who has documented the extent of internment camps in Xinjiang, and Naomi Kikoler from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

China vigorously denies abuses in Xinjiang, claiming it established "vocational training centers" to combat terrorism, separatism and religious radicalism.

Responding to the hearing, Liu Pengyu, spokesperson for China's Embassy in Washington, said the committee's planned witnesses have been "fabricating Xinjiang-related lies" based on ulterior political motives.

The governments of the US, the UK, Canada and other countries have described China's birth prevention and mass detention policies in Xinjiang as genocide, and a 2022 United Nations report said China may have committed crimes against humanity in the region.

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