U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday called for a stronger response to the Chinese government’s repression of Muslims in China’s far west and asked the FBI to investigate claims of intimidation against some immigrant communities in the United States.
The remarks, coinciding with annual rights report by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, were the latest signal of more assertive U.S. statements on Chinese rights issues as the Trump administration presses its trade battles with Beijing.
In a letter addressed to FBI Director Christopher A. Wray, Rubio and Smith called on the agency to look into allegations that the Chinese Communist Party is harassing and intimidating diaspora communities, including Uighurs with family in Xinjiang, on U.S. soil.
“Members of the Uyghur diaspora community in the United States have indicated they are unwilling to appear at public events, including congressional hearings, out of fear they will be surveilled and their family members in China punished as a result. This is unacceptable,” the letter reads, using one variation of the spelling of Uighur.
The letter also asks the FBI to set up an anonymous tip line to “counter brazen Chinese government threats and influence operations on U.S. soil.”