U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
October 29, 2020
Remarks at Nahdlatul Ulama and Gerakan Pemuda Ansor Event
Four Seasons Hotel
The gravest threat to the future of religious freedom is the Chinese Communist Party’s war against people of all faiths: Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, and Falun Gong practitioners alike.
The atheist Chinese Communist Party has tried to convince the world that its brutalization of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang is necessary as a part of its counterterrorism efforts or poverty alleviation, depending on which audience that they are speaking to.
But you know – you know; we know – we know that there is no counterterrorism justification for forcing Uyghur Muslims to eat pork during Ramadan or destroying a Muslim cemetery.
There is no poverty-alleviation justification for forced sterilizations or taking children away from their parents to be re-educated in state-run boarding schools.
I know that the Chinese Communist Party has tried to convince Indonesians to look away, to look away from the torments your fellow Muslims are suffering.
I know that these same CCP officials have spun fantastic tales of happy Uyghurs eager to discard their ethnic, religious, and cultural identities to become more “modern” and enjoy the benefits of CCP-led development.
When you hear these arguments, I’d just ask you to do this: search your hearts. Look at the facts. Listen to the tales of the survivors and of their families.
Think about what you know of how authoritarian governments treat those who resist its rule.
There are now dozens – maybe hundreds – of credible academic and research reports documenting what is taking place in Xinjiang.
I personally had the chance to hear the stories of that immense human suffering first-hand when I met in Kazakhstan with relatives of ethnic Kazakhs that had been held in camps in western China. Their tears filled my heart – first with anger and then with resolve.