US Official: Taiwanese People May Face Similar Fate As Uyghurs In China

TAIWAN - During the 2022 Regional Religious Freedom Forum in Taipei, Taiwan on August 30th, 2022, the Chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, Nury Turkel said that if China successfully invades the island of Taiwan, the Taiwanese people may suffer a similar fate as the Uyghurs in western China’s Xinjiang region.

Turkel, whose visit to Taiwan came a month after Pelosi's visit, stated, "The communist authorities have made it clear that Taiwan must understand what’s happening to the Uyghur people. You must know that if you fail to protect Taiwan, a similar fate awaits for the Taiwanese people".

"Of course, there can be no doubt that there’s no situation that illustrates the Chinese regime’s intentions for Taiwan and for the world than the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity that are being carried out by the Chinese Communist Party [CCP]" Turkel added.

Turkel, who is himself a Uyghur-American attorney, and human rights advocate said, "We know what the Chinese regime is doing to the people of Hong Kong and what they are willing to do to their own people in Shanghai in the name of a political goal. And we can be certain that the Chinese leaders pursue the same for Taiwan."
"Taiwan must study the Uyghur genocide. You must learn from these horrors and atrocities carried out in broad daylight. You must not wait and see, hope for the best, or hope that you will be spared from the same fate."

UN Releases Assessment Of Human Rights Concerns In Xinjiang
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights released an assessment of human rights concerns in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, People's Republic of China, on August 31st, 2022.

The UN report alleges that actions by China against Uyghurs and other minorities may amount to "crimes against humanity" and has pushed for accountability for the alleged actions by China against the Uyghurs and other minorities.

The OHCHR document said that "In late 2017, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) began receiving increasing allegations by various civil society groups that members of the Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minority communities were missing or had disappeared in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China (hereafter “XUAR” and “China”)".

The document addressed a number of issues that it has been made aware of, including a "dramatic" increase in involuntary disappearances of people, "with the introduction of re-education camps in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.

It said that there were numerous research and investigative reports published by a "diverse range of non-governmental organizations, think-tanks, and media outlets, as well as public accounts by victims" who have alleged "arbitrary detention on a broad scale in so-called 'camps'" and "claims of torture and other ill-treatment, including sexual violence, and forced labor. "

The document said that the "UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination expressed alarm over numerous reports of the detention of large numbers of ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities, under the pretext of countering religious extremism in XUAR."

It also addresses the Chinese "Strike Hard" campaign, which was meant to stamp out riots in July of 2009 in the regional capital of Urumqi, and said that the then "United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called for an investigation into the causes of the violence.

It said that "The [Chinese] Government reported that “from 1990 to the end of 2016, separatist, terrorist and extremist forces launched thousands of terrorist attacks in Xinjiang, killing large numbers of innocent people and hundreds of police officers, and causing immeasurable damage to property”.

The document went on to say that in 2014, in response to these developments, the Chinese government launched what it called a "Strike Hard" campaign, to "combat terrorist threats" which it "linked to religious extremism" as well as "separatism" in XUAR.

The OHCHR document cited a 2019 White Paper, where the Chinese government had said "since 2014, Xinjiang has destroyed 1,588 violent and terrorist gangs, arrested 12,995 terrorists, seized 2,052 explosive devices, punished 30,645 people for 4,858 illegal religious activities, and confiscated 345,229 copies of illegal religious materials".
It also cited official Chinese government documents saying that the "Xinjiang related issues are in essence about countering violent terrorism and separatism” and that it is doing so “in accordance with law”.

The document went on to cite two different counter-terrorism laws, the ("CTL") and ("XIM"), and quoted the definitions of both laws, pointing out that various aspects of the laws are not clearly defined, and stated in "vague and/or subjective terms without further clarification as to the content of what these may encompass".

The OHCHR did, however, point out that in March of 2018, "further clarification on the interpretation of the relevant provisions was provided". It said that while the clarifications were "helpful in further defining certain activities considered terrorist" it does "not address all concerns, including, for example, the scope of the term "extremism" in the description of various terrorist offenses".

It said that as such, there are "concerns that the scope of the definitions leaves the potential that acts of legitimate protest, dissent and other human rights activities, or of genuine religious activity, can fall within the ambit of “terrorism” or “terrorist activities”.

"Such provisions are vulnerable to being used – deliberately or inadvertently – in a discriminatory or otherwise arbitrary manner against individuals or communities." it stated.

The document said that in regards to "extremism", the Xinjiang Religious Affairs Regulation (“XRAR”) defines "religious extremism" as, "the distortion of religious teachings and the promotion of extremism, as well as other extremes of thought, speech and behavior such as the promotion of violence, social
hatred and anti-humanity".

It pointed out that the XRAR prohibits "extremist... ideas”, “thought”, “activities”, “clothing”, “symbols”, “signs” and “content”, but provides little clarity on what constitutes these elements such as to render them extremist.

It added that "The XUAR Regulation on De-extremification (“XRD”) defines "extremism" as "propositions and conduct using distortion of religious teachings or other means to incite hatred or discrimination and advocate violence”, and “extremification” as “speech and actions under the influence of extremism, that spread a radical religious ideology, and reject and interfere with normal production and livelihood”.

The OHCHR document pointed out that the regulation contains an "open-ended list of primary expressions of extremification", including "interfering with normal cultural and recreational activities, rejecting or refusing public goods and services such as radio and television”, and “spreading religious fanaticism through irregular beards or name selection”, and “deliberately interfering with or undermining the implementation of family planning policies”.

It said that the Chinese law and policy "consistently" reference extremism in general terms, omitting "the critical qualifying objective "violent", and stated "As such, the legal texts appear to conflate what might otherwise be construed as matters of personal choice in relation to religious practice with “extremism".

"In summary, the Chinese “anti-terrorism law system”86 is based on vague and broad concepts that grant significant discretion to diverse officials as to their interpretation and application. Methods set out under the framework to identify and assess problematic conduct are simplistic and prone to subjectivity and do not appear to be based on empirically obtained evidence that establishes the links between the indicators of conduct relied on and terrorism or violent extremism." the OHCHR document stated.

View The Full OHCHR Assessment Document

Taiwanese President's Response To Alleged Uyghur Persecution
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen also spoke at the Regional Religious Freedom Forum in Taipei, Taiwan, saying "Religious freedom is a universal human right, but in recent years, we have seen authoritarian regimes repress this fundamental freedom on an ever-greater scale".

"Taiwan knows what it means to stand on the front lines of authoritarian aggression, and we are deeply committed to advancing religious freedom at home and abroad, including by supporting those who cannot exercise that fundamental right," she added.

In an interview with Radio Free Asia, Turkel spoke on the Taiwanese President's support for the Uyghurs, as well as other groups that have faced religious, and other types of persecution.

RFA cited Turkel as saying, "Taiwanese officials expressed deep concerns about the ongoing Uyghur genocide and showed solidarity with the Uyghur people who have been subjected to collective punishment, mass internment, enslavement, enforced family separation, and sexual violence against the Uyghur women".

China's Response To The Assessment Released By The United Nations

China responded to the United Nations report by posting the following message on the Permanent Mission of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations Office in Geneva and other international organizations in Switzerland (translated from Chinese):
"Liu Yuyin, the spokesperson of the Permanent Mission of China in Geneva, spoke on the so-called Xinjiang-related "assessment" issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

On August 31, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights insisted on issuing the so-called Xinjiang-related "assessment" despite China's serious negotiations. China expressed strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition to this. The Office has not been authorized by the Human Rights Council the right to issue the so-called Xinjiang-related "assessments", discredit China by degrees, interfere in China's internal affairs, seriously violate the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, and seriously damage the credibility and impartiality of the Office.

The so-called "assessment" of the High Commissioner's Office is based on the presumptive assumption of guilt, using false information and lies fabricated by anti-China forces as the main source of information, and deliberately ignoring the authoritative information and customers provided by the Chinese government.

Viewing materials, maliciously distorting Chinese laws and policies, discrediting the struggle against terrorism and de-radicalization in Xinjiang, China, and ignoring the huge human rights achievements made by the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, China. Its content is consistent with the visit of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The statements issued at the end of the meeting were very different, revealing the deep prejudice and ignorance of some people in the High Commissioner's Office towards China.

This so-called "assessment" is completely a farce planned by the United States, Western countries, and anti-China forces. These countries have long put pressure on the High Commission and the Office of the High Commissioner to issue the so-called "assessment" of the steps involved in accordance with the West's intentions.

Party politics provides ammunition for opening up Xinjiang-related issues. This so-called "assessment" is completely a politicized document that ignores facts and fully exposes the picture of the United States and Western countries and anti-China forces using human rights as a political tool. Scheming.

What is the human rights situation in Xinjiang, China? The people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang and the Chinese people have the most say. China insists on taking the people as the center and insists that the people's happy life is the greatest human right, and has walked a new path.

The trend of the times and the development path of human rights suitable for the national conditions of the country. Xinjiang, China, has suffered from wanton terrorist attacks. Through effective anti-terrorism and de-radicalization efforts, Xinjiang has not experienced violent terrorism for more than 5 years.

In the event, the lives, property, and human rights of people of all ethnic groups have been strongly guaranteed.At present, Xinjiang's society is stable, with economic development, cultural prosperity, and religious harmony, and people of all ethnic groups live a happy life of living and working in peace. This is the most
Good human rights practice is the greatest human rights achievement.

Facts speak louder than words, and justice is at ease in people's hearts. In recent years, nearly 100 countries have continuously spoken out in public at the Human Rights Council, the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, etc., supporting China's legitimate position on Xinjiang-related issues and opposing borrowing.

* Strong issues interfere in China's internal affairs. Nearly a thousand non-governmental organizations jointly sent a letter to the High Commissioner for Human Rights, strongly opposing the release of the so-called Xinjiang-related "assessment" by the High Commissioner's Office. These voices of justice reflect those of most members of the international community.

Therefore, the attempts of the United States and Western countries and anti-China forces to use the United Nations agencies as a cover to manipulate Xinjiang-related issues are doomed to failure.

International human rights cooperation must be carried out on the basis of equality and mutual respect International human rights institutions must respect objective facts and respect the human rights development path chosen by countries according to their own actual conditions and people's needs.

Road, double standards cannot be engaged in, and human rights cannot be used as an excuse to interfere in the sovereignty and internal affairs of Member States. We urge the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to immediately change its tone, stand on the side of fairness and justice, and truly commit to promoting and protecting all.

The human rights of the Chinese people truly promote dialogue and cooperation, and promote the healthy development of the international cause of human rights, rather than becoming a tool for the United States and Western countries to seek political self-interest

Document Referenced: OHCHR Assessment Document.

Image: Chien Chih-Hung/Office of the President, Taiwan | Public Domain
Photo description: Regional Religious Freedom Forum in Taipei, Taiwan on August 30th, 2022. Second from left: Nury Turkel, chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in the center.