Addressing China’s Oppression of Uyghurs


NSI on the Hill represents the views of a number of the National Security Institute’s experts—many with longstanding experience working on national security-related matters—and it identifies key considerations and recommendations for Congress to consider regarding the toughest foreign policy challenges facing U.S. policymakers today.


  • For decades, China has engaged in significant human rights abuses against the ethnic Uyghur population and other religious and ethnic minorities, including interning over 1 million Uyghurs in modern-day gulags since 2017.
  • Two successive administrations—Republican and Democratic alike—have recognized the oppression of Uyghurs by China as a modern-day genocide and have imposed key sanctions on China and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

  • With successive Administrations reaching the same conclusions regarding China’s human rights abuses, Congress can double down on its ongoing efforts to provide a unified policy approach to go after the Chinese government, promote human rights, and bring an end to the CCP’s restrictive tactics of oppression in Xinjiang, which mirror Chinese behavior elsewhere.

Key Recommendations:

  • Sanctions: Creating new options through more aggressive use of existing sanctions authorities, including making permanent and mandatory certain human rights sanctions, including those currently imposed by Executive Order (E.O.) 13818;

  • New Financial Tools: Implementing additional capital raising restrictions on Chinese or foreign companies with ties to Xinjiang forced labor;

  • Domestic Policy Options: Publishing Congressional reports that higlight American corporate involvement not just in Xinjiang but in China more broadly;

  • Trade Options: Increased funding for export control compliance and create special China enforcement programs, as well as strengthen enforcement measures related to forced labor goods; and

  • Diplomatic Options: Limiting or setting conditions for U.S. participation in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.


Read the full report here.