VOC Testifies to US Congress on Beijing’s Genocide in Xinjiang

March 24, 2023
Press contact: Karina Lipsman

Washington, D.C. – A leading China expert from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) testified under oath before the new House Select Committee on China at a public hearing on Capitol Hill titled “The Chinese Communist Party’s Ongoing Uyghur Genocide” on March 23. 

During the three-hour hearing — which was live-streamed to thousands of viewers and attended by all 13 Republicans and 11 Democrats on the bipartisan Committee — VOC’s China Director Dr. Adrian Zenz delivered detailed testimony on Beijing’s human rights atrocities in Xinjiang including mass internment, forced labor, and birth rate suppression, as well as the complicity of central Chinese government officials, up to and including Chairman Xi Jinping.

VOC’s 87-page written testimony submitted to the Committee represents the most significant compilation of its China research ever released, synthesizing into a single document the organization’s most seminal papers and releases from recent years. Using primarily China’s own official documents, the report details wide-ranging evidence of mass arbitrary detention, coercive labor, birth prevention, and parent-child separation as well as the direct role of central government officials, perpetrator lists, sanctions recommendations, complicit US companies, and tainted global supply chains linked to Uyghur forced labor.

The hearing also featured harrowing firsthand testimony from two survivors of the internment camps, Gulbahar Haitiwaji and Qelbinur Sidik, who recounted their shocking experiences witnessing rape, torture, and forced indoctrination in the camps, as well as expert testimony from Nury Turkel, Chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, and Naomi Kikoler, director of the genocide prevention unit of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Dr. Zenz’s opening remarks broadcast VOC’s three core policy recommendations, calling for the US government to sanction implicated central Chinese government officials, publish a clear plan for how it will execute its treaty obligation to prevent genocide under the Geneva Convention of 1948, and establish measures to prevent US investment in Chinese entities involved in Beijing’s human rights atrocities, surveillance state, and military modernization.

“Thanks to Dr. Adrian Zenz, a leading scholar on the Uyghur genocide, through his work and research of leaked Chinese government documents including the Xinjiang Papers and the China Cables, [VOC has] played a paramount role in bringing these atrocities to light,” said the Committee’s Chairman Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI).   

“Dr. Zenz’s research shows how sterilizations per 100,000 people in Xinjiang compared with the nation as a whole: the sterilization rate in Xinjiang is lower between 2010 and 2015, but when the ‘one child policy’ ends, the sterilization rates in China go down, [then] explode and increase in the Xinjiang region,” said Ranking Member Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL). “The mass ending of Uyghur births clearly meets the definition of genocide.”

“We may say ‘never again,’ but genocide is in fact happening again, and it is happening on our watch,” said Elisha Wiesel, former CIO of Goldman Sachs and son of renowned Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, during opening video remarks. “There is a place right now [in Xinjiang] where an entire people spend their days either experiencing or living in fear of imprisonment, forced sterilization, and torture, where the absence of a free press creates a blanket of darkness under which these crimes occur, from which a handful of eyewitnesses have survived to tell their story…Xinjiang is the center of the universe.”

“Genocide research says that preventive internment of an entire ethnic group is a sign of political paranoia, an exaggerated threat perception that genocide scholars have linked to all major atrocities in the past 100 years,” said Dr. Adrian Zenz. “This paranoia is well worth studying, because it also informs the CCP’s stance towards everything else, including the United States.”

Dr. Zenz’s testimony was specifically requested by the Committee — whose full name is the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party — in recognition of VOC’s authoritative research uncovering human rights abuses in China, including through detailed analysis of hacked or leaked internal documents such as the Xinjiang Police Files, which VOC broke as a global news story last year in partnership with 14 world-leading media outlets including the BBC, Germany’s Der Spiegel, France’s Le Monde, and Spain’s El País.

For press inquiries contact Karina Lipsman at karina.lipsman@victimsofcommunism.org or (202) 629-9500.