PRESS RELEASE: CCP Intensifies Repression as China’s National People’s Congress Begins
As the CCP launches its most important political event of the year, the National People’s Congress, after a two month delay due to the pandemic, the Chinese government’s repression of Uyghurs, Tibetans, Hong Kongers, Southern Mongolians and Han Chinese democracy activists is only intensifying. The National People’s Congress ostensibly serves as the parliamentary organ of the Chinese government that votes on and passes legislation. However, it is a parliament in name only, as any meaningful form of democracy and representation in China remain completely absent from CCP governmental structures. Power instead remains in the hands of a few in the Standing Committee of the CCP and ultimately under Xi Jinping’s authoritarian rule.
Unsurprisingly, China’s horrific treatment of Uyghurs, Tibetans, Hong Kongers, Southern Mongolians, Han Chinese activists and millions of others will not be addressed and the views and concerns of China’s people will be ignored. This session instead will reportedly focus on security and the economy, as China seeks to extoll its disastrous response to the COVID19 pandemic and continue efforts to remake the international order in its image.
The Chinese government’s recent actions in the days, weeks and months ahead of the NPC have shown that its treatment of Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious groups will continue to worsen. This week in Hong Kong, the Chinese government is pushing through legislation that will essentially dissolve any meaningful autonomy and destroy the ‘one country two systems’ principle and violating the terms of its treaty with the United Kingdom. The National Security law would ban “treason, secession, sedition and subversion”, a broad definition that would allow Chinese authorities to arrest and punish Hong Kong citizens for virtually any reason. It would also establish a branch of the CCP’s secret police in Hong Kong, putting activists at significant risk of torture, arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances. The people of Hong Kong who have been bravely demonstrating for their rights and democracy in Hong Kong are now seeing any semblance of autonomy and respect for their rights and freedoms being stripped away by the CCP. Decades ago, Uyghurs, Tibetans and others also helplessly watched as the CCP’s promises of rights and autonomy were broken and the people subjected to inhuman treatment.
“In the build up to the National People’s Congress, the CCP has only escalated its inhuman treatment of Uyghurs, Tibetans, Hong Kongers and millions of others,” WUC President Dolkun Isa stated. “The CCP is undermining the autonomy, human rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong before our eyes. If something is not done, Hong Kong may suffer the same brutal treatment as Uyghurs and Tibetans. Enough is enough, the international community must take action… for all of our sakes.”
While the world has been distracted by the pandemic, China has been also transferring hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs from internment camps in East Turkistan to forced labour facilities in other regions. A recent document published by China state news outlet CCTV alluded to the fact that 290,000 Uyghurs would be transferred from only four prefectures in East Turkistan to forced labour facilities around the rest of China. The recent report from the Austrlian Strategic Policy Institute found evidence that at least 80,000 Uyghurs had been transferred forced labour facilities around China and were used in the supply chains of 83 Western companies. The scale of the transfer of Uyghurs and their use in forced labour is almost unprecedented and signals a disturbing new phase to China’s crimes against humanity against the Uyghur people.
Internationally, the Chinese government has become increasingly aggressive. Chinese officials have been using increasingly threatening language against the Taiwanese government and have deprived them of the right to participate in discussions at the World Health Agency (WHA) or join the WHO in the middle of a devastating pandemic. Instead of being transparent about the virus’s nature and origins, the CCP has been arresting and disappearing any Chinese citizens sharing information about the virus online, strictly censoring information in China, spreading disinformation around the world and attacking any country calling for justice and accountability. The Chinese government is now engaging in economic retaliation against Australia, trying to cause significant damage to their economy, merely for requesting an investigation into the origins of the virus.
Across the board, the Chinese government has become increasingly brutal in its treatment of Uyghurs, Tibetans, Hong Kongers and all people under its control and has sought to bully and bend states to their will internationally. The ongoing National People’s Congress will likely double-down on these policies, perpetuate the suffering of millions of innocent people and threaten global peace and security. We urge the international community to take stock of these developments and the direction of the CCP. Urgent, appropriate action must be taken to immediately bring an end to the CCP crimes against humanity and stop its assault on rights and freedoms, domestically and internationally.