SALT LAKE CITY — Members of Utah’s congressional delegation are calling for sanctions against China over alleged forced sterilizations and other coercive measures used to curtail family size among ethnic Uighurs and other Muslim minorities.
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, joined 78 members of Congress in a bipartisan letter Thursday urging the secretary of state and the the treasury secretary to issue a formal declaration of ongoing atrocities, including crimes against humanity and genocide, in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.
Romney said the Chinese Communist Party is on a mission to wipe out Uighur families. “Evidence of forced sterilizations of Uighur women is especially heinous,” he said.
“These human rights abuses demand a response from the United States as well as the international community because evidence strongly indicates that the Chinese government is intentionally working to destroy and essentially wipe out Uighur families, culture and religious adherence and encouraging violence against women,” the letter says.
Millions of Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim group based primarily in China’s Xinjiang province, have allegedly been subjected to mass persecution by Chinese authorities.
“Evidence of violence against Uighur women and coercive efforts to halt the growth of the Uighur population in the XUAR requires strong U.S. leadership and international action,” according to the letter. “The Chinese government has committed horrific acts in the XUA including mass internment, family separations, forced labor and forced renunciations of fait, for far too long.”
Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, co-sponsored a bill last year that directs the president to impose sanctions and export restrictions related to China’s treatment of the Uighurs. It was signed into law two weeks ago.