Text: H.R.649 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (01/17/2019)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 649 Introduced in House (IH)]

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116th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 649

 To condemn gross human rights violations of ethnic Turkic Muslims in 
 Xinjiang, and calling for an end to arbitrary detention, torture, and 
       harassment of these communities inside and outside China.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            January 17, 2019

   Mr. Smith of New Jersey (for himself, Mr. Suozzi, Mr. McCaul, Mr. 
Chabot, Mr. Sherman, Mr. Connolly, Mr. Sires, Mr. Kennedy, Ms. Pingree, 
       Mr. Cohen, Mr. Meadows, Mr. Wilson of South Carolina, Mr. 
 Krishnamoorthi, and Mrs. Wagner) introduced the following bill; which 
 was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to 
 the Committees on Intelligence (Permanent Select), and the Judiciary, 
for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case 
for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of 
                        the committee concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To condemn gross human rights violations of ethnic Turkic Muslims in 
 Xinjiang, and calling for an end to arbitrary detention, torture, and 
       harassment of these communities inside and outside China.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 
2019''.

SEC. 2. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this Act is to direct United States resources to 
address gross violations of universally recognized human rights, 
including the mass internment of over 1,000,000 Uyghurs and other 
predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in China and the intimidation 
and threats faced by United States citizens and legal permanent 
residents.

SEC. 3. APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES.

    In this section, the term ``appropriate congressional committees'' 
means--
            (1) the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on 
        Armed Services, the Select Committee on Intelligence, the 
        Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, the Committee 
        on the Judiciary, and the Committee on Appropriations of the 
        Senate; and
            (2) the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on 
        Armed Services, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, 
        the Committee on Financial Services, the Committee on the 
        Judiciary, and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of 
        Representatives.

SEC. 4. FINDINGS.

    Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) The Government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) 
        has a long history of repressing approximately 13,000,000 
        Turkic, moderate Sunni Muslims, particularly Uyghurs, in the 
        nominally autonomous Xinjiang region. These actions are in 
        contravention of international human rights standards, 
        including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 
        International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which 
        China has signed but not yet ratified.
            (2) In recent decades, central and regional Chinese 
        government policies have systematically discriminated against 
        Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and other Muslims in Xinjiang by 
        denying them a range of civil and political rights, including 
        the freedoms of expression, religion, movement, and a fair 
        trial, among others.
            (3) Increased unrest in the Xinjiang region as a result of 
        the central government's severe repression is used in Orwellian 
        fashion by the Government of the People's Republic of China as 
        evidence of ``terrorism'' and ``separatism'' and as an excuse 
        for further disproportionate response.
            (4) In 2014, Chinese authorities launched their latest 
        ``Strike Hard against Violent Extremism'' campaign, in which 
        the pretext of wide-scale, internationally linked threats of 
        terrorism were used to justify pervasive restrictions on, and 
        gross human rights violations of, the ethnic minority 
        communities of Xinjiang.
            (5) Those policies included--
                    (A) pervasive, high-tech surveillance across the 
                region, including the arbitrary collection of biodata, 
                including DNA samples from children, without their 
                knowledge or consent;
                    (B) the use of QR codes outside homes to gather 
                information on how frequently individuals pray;
                    (C) facial and voice recognition software and 
                ``predictive policing'' databases; and
                    (D) severe restrictions on the freedom of movement 
                across the region.
            (6) Chinese security forces have never been held 
        accountable for credible reports of mass shootings in Alaqagha 
        (2014), Hanerik (2013), and Siriqbuya (2013), as well as the 
        extrajudicial killings of Abdulbasit Ablimit (2013) and Rozi 
        Osman (2014).
            (7)(A) The August 2016 transfer of former Tibet Autonomous 
        Region Party Secretary Chen Quanguo to become the Xinjiang 
        Party Secretary prompted an acceleration in the crackdown 
        across the region.
            (B) Local officials in Xinjiang have used chilling 
        political rhetoric to describe the purpose of government policy 
        including ``eradicating tumors'' and ``spray[ing] chemicals'' 
        on crops to kill the ``weeds''.
            (C) Uyghurs are forced to celebrate Chinese cultural 
        traditions, such as Chinese New Year, and unique Uyghur culture 
        is facing eradication due to state control over Uyghur cultural 
        heritage, such as muqam (a musical tradition) and meshrep 
        (traditional cultural gatherings), and due to elimination of 
        the Uyghur language as a medium of instruction in Xinjiang 
        schools and universities.
            (8) In 2017, credible reports found that family members of 
        Uyghurs living outside of China had gone missing inside China, 
        that Chinese authorities were pressuring those outside the 
        country to return, and that individuals were being arbitrarily 
        detained in large numbers.
            (9) There is ample credible evidence provided by scholars, 
        human rights organizations, journalists, and think tanks 
        substantiating the establishment by Chinese authorities of 
        ``political reeducation'' camps.
            (10) Independent organizations conducted interviews, 
        including testimonies from Kayrat Samarkan, Omir Bekali, and 
        Mihrigul Tursun, along with others who had been detained in 
        such facilities, who described forced political indoctrination, 
        torture, beatings, food deprivation, and solitary confinement, 
        as well as uncertainty as to the length of detention, 
        humiliation, and denial of religious, cultural, and linguistic 
        freedoms, and confirmed that they were told by guards that the 
        only way to secure release was to demonstrate sufficient 
        political loyalty. Poor conditions and lack of medical 
        treatment at such facilities appear to have contributed to the 
        deaths of some detainees, including the elderly and infirm. 
        Uyghurs Muhammed Salih Hajim (2018), Yaqupjan Naman (2018), 
        Abdughappar Abdujappar (2018), Ayhan Memet (2018), Abdulreshit 
        Seley Hajim (2018), Nurimangul Memet (2018), Adalet Teyip 
        (2018), Abdulehed Mehsum (2017), Hesen Imin (2017), and Sawut 
        Raxman (2017) reportedly died while in the custody of the 
        Chinese authorities in ``political reeducation'' camps, without 
        proper investigation of the circumstances.
            (11) Uyghurs and Kazakhs, who have now obtained permanent 
        residence or citizenship in other countries, attest to 
        receiving threats and harassment from Chinese officials.
            (12) Under pressure from the Government of the People's 
        Republic of China, countries have forcibly returned Uyghurs to 
        China in violation of the non-refoulement principle and their 
        well-founded fear of persecution. States returning Uyghurs 
        include Egypt (2017), the United Arab Emirates (2017), Malaysia 
        (2011, 2013), Thailand (2011, 2015), Laos (2010), Burma (2010), 
        Cambodia (2009), Vietnam (2014), Kazakhstan (1999, 2001, 2003, 
        2006), Uzbekistan (2007), Tajikistan (2011), Pakistan (2003, 
        2009, 2011), Nepal (2002), and India (2016).
            (13) Six journalists for Radio Free Asia's Uyghur service 
        have publicly detailed abuses their family members in Xinjiang 
        have endured in response to their work exposing abusive 
        policies across the region.
            (14) Several United States-based companies are conducting 
        business with Xinjiang authorities without sufficient due 
        diligence or safeguards to ensure their business operations do 
        not create or contribute to human rights violations.
            (15) The Government of the People's Republic of China is 
        increasingly investing in the ``Belt and Road Initiative'' 
        across Xinjiang and throughout Central Asia, extending its 
        influence through organizations such as the Shanghai 
        Cooperation Organization without regard to the political, 
        cultural, or linguistic rights of ethnic minorities.
            (16) The Secretary of State, Congressional-Executive 
        Commission on China, Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, and 
        individual members of the executive branch and Congress have 
        all expressed growing concern regarding the pervasive human 
        rights abuses across Xinjiang and the ``political reeducation'' 
        camps.
            (17) In August 2018, the United Nations Committee to 
        Eliminate Racial Discrimination challenged the Government of 
        the People's Republic of China over abuses in Xinjiang, 
        including the establishment of mass arbitrary detention camps.
            (18) Between August and September 2018, Chinese authorities 
        responded to these allegations by either flatly denying them or 
        insisting that the facilities are ``vocational training 
        centers''.
            (19) In September 2018, newly appointed United Nations High 
        Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet noted in her 
        first speech as High Commissioner the ``deeply disturbing 
        allegations of large-scale arbitrary detentions of Uighurs and 
        other Muslim communities, in so-called re-education camps 
        across Xinjiang''.
            (20) On September 18, 2018, the Washington Post editorial 
        board wrote, ``At stake is not just the welfare of the Uighurs, 
        but also whether the technologies of the 21st century will be 
        employed to smother human freedom.''.
            (21) In December 2018 testimony before the Subcommittee on 
        East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy 
        of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, Deputy 
        Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Scott 
        Busby testified that the number of those detained in camps 
        since April 2017 was ``at least 800,000 and possibly more than 
        2 million''.
            (22) In December 2018, independent media reports pointed to 
        growing evidence of forced labor in the camps, as well as 
        reports of individuals who have been released from camps being 
        forced to labor in nearby factories for low wages under threat 
        of being sent back to ``political reeducation'' camps.
            (23) In December 2018 and January 2019, Chinese officials 
        organized visits to ``political reeducation'' camps in Xinjiang 
        for a small group of foreign journalists and diplomats from 12 
        non-Western countries. In the months preceding the visits, 
        international media reported that officials worked to remove 
        security features from some ``political reeducation'' 
        facilities, and coached detainees and area residents not to 
        make negative comments about the camps. Reports also indicated 
        that officials had transferred large numbers of detainees to 
        detention facilities in other parts of China.
            (24) Experts have described the Xinjiang region as ``a 
        police state to rival North Korea, with a formalized racism on 
        the order of South African apartheid'' and the repression in 
        the Xinjiang region as a ``slow motion Tiananmen''.

SEC. 5. SENSE OF CONGRESS.

    It is the sense of Congress that--
            (1) the President should condemn abuses against Turkic 
        Muslims by Chinese authorities in Xinjiang and call on Chinese 
        President Xi Jinping to recognize the profound abuse and likely 
        lasting damage of China's current policies, and immediately 
        close the ``political reeducation'' camps, lift all 
        restrictions on and ensure respect for internationally 
        guaranteed human rights across the region, and allow for 
        reestablishment of contact between those inside and outside 
        China;
            (2) the United States Government should develop a strategy 
        to support the United Nations High Commissioner for Human 
        Rights and numerous United Nations Special Rapporteurs' urgent 
        calls for immediate and unfettered access to Xinjiang, 
        including the ``political reeducation'' camps and instruct 
        representatives of the United States at the United Nations to 
        use the voice and vote of the United States to condemn the mass 
        arbitrary detainment, torture, and forced labor of Turkic 
        Muslims in the People's Republic of China;
            (3) the Secretary of State should consider the 
        applicability of existing authorities, including the Global 
        Magnitsky Act (subtitle F of Public Law 114-328), to impose 
        targeted sanctions on members of the Government of the People's 
        Republic of China, the Chinese Communist Party, and state 
        security apparatus, including Xinjiang Party Secretary Chen 
        Quanguo and other officials credibly alleged to be responsible 
        for human rights abuses in Xinjiang and elsewhere;
            (4) the Secretary of State should fully implement the 
        provisions of the Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom 
        Act (Public Law 114-281) and consider strategically employing 
        sanctions and other tools under the International Religious 
        Freedom Act (22 U.S.C. 6401 et seq.) and to employ measures 
        required as part of the ``Country of Particular Concern'' (CPC) 
        designation for the Government of the People's Republic of 
        China that directly address particularly severe violations of 
        religious freedom;
            (5) the Secretary of Commerce should review and consider 
        the prohibition on the sale or provision of any United States-
        made goods or services to any state agent in Xinjiang, and add 
        the Xinjiang branch of the Chinese Communist Party, the 
        Xinjiang Public Security Bureau, and the Xinjiang Office of the 
        United Front Work Department, or any entity acting on their 
        behalf to facilitate the mass internment or forced labor of 
        Turkic Muslims, to the ``Entity List'' administered by the 
        Department of Commerce;
            (6) the Secretary of State should explore appropriate 
        mechanisms to establish a voluntary database to which United 
        States citizens or permanent resident family members of the 
        Uyghur diaspora can provide details about missing family 
        members, with a view towards pressing for information and 
        accountability from the Government of the People's Republic of 
        China, and take appropriate measures to expedite the asylum 
        claims of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other Turkic Muslim minorities;
            (7) United States companies and individuals selling goods 
        or services or otherwise operating in Xinjiang should take 
        steps, including in any public or financial filings, to 
        publicly assert that their commercial activities are not 
        contributing to human rights violations in Xinjiang or 
        elsewhere in China and that their supply chains are not 
        compromised by forced labor;
            (8) the Federal Bureau of Investigation and appropriate 
        United States law enforcement entities should track and take 
        steps to hold accountable officials from China who harass, 
        threaten, or intimidate United States citizens and legal 
        permanent residents, including Turkic Muslims, Uyghur-
        Americans, Chinese-Americans, and Chinese nationals legally 
        studying or working in the United States; and
            (9) the Secretary of State should work with traditional 
        United States allies and partners to take similar steps and 
        coordinate closely on targeted sanctions and visa restrictions.

SEC. 6. NATIONAL SECURITY REPORT.

    (a) In General.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Director of National Intelligence, in 
coordination with the Secretary of State, shall provide to the 
appropriate congressional committees a classified and unclassified 
report to assess national and regional security threats posed by the 
crackdown across Xinjiang, the frequency with which Central and 
Southeast Asian governments are forcibly returning Turkic Muslim 
refugees and asylum seekers, and the transfer or development of 
technology used by the Government of the People's Republic of China 
that facilitates the mass internment and surveillance of Turkic 
Muslims, including technology relating to predictive policing and 
large-scale data collection and analysis.
    (b) Annex.--The report required under subsection (a) shall include 
an annex with a list of all Chinese companies involved in the 
construction or operation of the ``political education'' camps, and the 
provision or operation of surveillance technology or operations, across 
Xinjiang.

SEC. 7. PROTECTING CITIZENS AND RESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES FROM 
              INTIMIDATION AND COERCION.

    (a) In General.--Not later than 90 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Director of the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall 
provide a report to the appropriate congressional committees that 
outlines any and all efforts to provide information to and protect 
United States citizens and residents, including ethnic Uyghurs and 
Chinese nationals legally studying or working temporarily in the United 
States who have experienced harassment or intimidation by officials or 
agents of the Government of the People's Republic of China and the 
Communist Party within the United States and those whose families in 
China have experienced threats or detention because of their work or 
advocacy.
    (b) Database of Detained Family Members of United States Citizens 
and Residents.--The Secretary of State should explore appropriate 
mechanisms to establish a voluntary database to which United States 
citizens or permanent resident family members of the Uyghur diaspora 
can provide details about missing family members, with a view towards 
pressing for information and accountability from the Government of the 
People's Republic of China and to take appropriate measures to expedite 
the asylum claims of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other Turkic Muslim 
minorities.

SEC. 8. REPORT ON PUBLIC DIPLOMACY.

    (a) Report.--Not later than 120 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the CEO of the United States Agency for Global 
Media shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report 
that--
            (1) describes the current status and reach of United States 
        broadcasting to the Xinjiang region and Uyghur speaking 
        communities globally, barriers to the free flow of news and 
        information to these communities, and, if appropriate, detailed 
        technical and fiscal requirements necessary to increase 
        broadcasting and other media to these communities globally;
            (2) describes efforts to intimidate Radio Free Asia and 
        Voice of America reporters reporting on human rights issues in 
        the People's Republic of China; and
            (3) in consultation with the Global Engagement Center at 
        the Department of State, describes and assesses disinformation 
        and propaganda by the Government of the People's Republic of 
        China or other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization 
        targeting Uyghur communities globally and efforts to downplay 
        gross violations of universally recognized human rights 
        occurring in the Xinjiang region and any activities or programs 
        that address these efforts.
    (b) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that the 
journalists of the Uyghur language service of Radio Free Asia should be 
highly commended for their reporting on the human rights and political 
situation in Xinjiang despite efforts to silence or intimidate their 
reporting through the detention of family members and relatives by the 
Government of the People's Republic of China.

SEC. 9. ANNUAL REPORT.

    (a) In General.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Secretary of State, 
after consulting relevant Federal agencies and civil society 
organizations, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees 
and make available on the website of the Department of State an 
interagency report that includes--
            (1) an assessment of the number of individuals detained in 
        political ``reeducation camps'' and conditions in the camps for 
        detainees in the Xinjiang region, including whether detainees 
        endure torture, forced renunciation of faith, or other 
        mistreatment;
            (2) a description, as possible, of the geographic location 
        of the camps and estimates of the number of people detained in 
        such facilities;
            (3) a description, as possible, of the methods used by 
        People's Republic of China authorities to ``reeducate'' Uyghur 
        detainees as well as the People's Republic of China agencies in 
        charge of reeducation;
            (4) an assessment of the number of individuals being 
        arbitrarily detained, including in pretrial detention centers 
        and prisons;
            (5) an assessment of forced labor in the camps and in 
        regional factories for low wages under threat of being sent 
        back to ``political reeducation'' camps;
            (6) a list of Chinese companies and industries benefiting 
        from such labor, and a description of actions taken to address 
        forced labor in Xinjiang concurrent with the People's Republic 
        of China's Tier 3 designation under the 2018 Trafficking in 
        Persons Report;
            (7) an assessment of the level of access People's Republic 
        of China authorities grant to diplomats, journalists, and 
        others to the Xinjiang region and a description of measures 
        used to impede efforts to monitor human rights conditions in 
        the Xinjiang region;
            (8) an assessment of the repressive surveillance, 
        detection, and control methods used by People's Republic of 
        China authorities in the Xinjiang region, and a list of 
        individuals who hold senior leadership positions and are 
        responsible for ``high-tech'' policing, mass incarceration, and 
        reeducation efforts targeting Uyghur and other predominantly 
        Muslim ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region; and
            (9) a description of United States diplomatic efforts to 
        address the gross violations of universally recognized rights 
        in the Xinjiang region and to protect asylum seekers from the 
        region, including in multilateral institutions and through 
        bilateral relations with the People's Republic of China, the 
        nations of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and 
        other countries.
    (b) Termination.--The Secretary of State may terminate the report 
required under subsection (a) if the Secretary certifies to the 
appropriate congressional committees that the gross violations of 
universally recognized human rights and mass detention of Uyghurs and 
other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities have ended in the Xinjiang 
region.

SEC. 10. SPECIAL COORDINATOR AT THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary of State should consider the 
establishment of a new position within the Department of State, the 
United States Special Coordinator for Xinjiang, who will coordinate 
diplomatic, political, public diplomacy, financial assistance, 
sanctions, counterterrorism, security resources, and congressional 
reporting requirements within the United States Government to respond 
to the gross violations of universally recognized human rights 
occurring in the Xinjiang region, including by addressing the mass 
detentions of Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities, 
the deployment of technologically advanced surveillance and police 
detection methods, and the counterterrorism and counter-radicalism 
claims used to justify the policies of the Government of the People's 
Republic of China in Xinjiang.
    (b) Appointment.--If the Secretary determines that establishment of 
the position described in subsection (a) is appropriate, the Secretary 
may appoint the Special Coordinator from among officers and employees 
of the Department of State. The Secretary may allow such officer or 
employee to retain the position (and the responsibilities associated 
with such position) held by such officer or employee prior to the 
appointment of such officer or employee to the position of Special 
Coordinator.
    (c) Termination.--The Secretary of State may terminate the Special 
Coordinator position 45 days after certifying to the appropriate 
congressional committees that the gross violations of universally 
recognized human rights and mass detention of Uyghurs and other 
predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities have ended in the Xinjiang 
region.
    (d) Consultation.--The Secretary shall consult with the chairman 
and ranking minority members of the appropriate congressional 
committees prior to the designation of the Special Coordinator under 
this section.
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