December 3, 2020 - Thursday
Coke Tries to Can Uyghur Rights Bill
December 3, 2020
Americans aren't the only ones concerned about a Biden administration. Persecuted people all around the world have a lot to lose if Donald Trump isn't reelected. Just this past week, a Uyghur leader bluntly said that a liberal president would be a nightmare for the suffering minorities in China. "We're actually quite worried, I'll be honest with you."
And they have reason to be. Not only is Joe Biden desperate to get back into communist China's good graces, his early picks for key posts like secretary of State will be a disaster for religious freedom around the world. "Prior to setting up these concentration camps in 2016 and 2017, the Chinese government claimed that it was fighting against terrorism -- and this was part of the excuse for why they have millions of people in [locked away] in these forced labor camps, is to 'fight against extremism and terrorism,'" Salih Hudayar told the Federalist. Incredibly, Anthony Blinken, Biden's choice to replace Mike Pompeo, was fine with this.
"Blinken stated that China was doing the right thing, and that the U.S. supported China's efforts to fight against terrorism, and that they would seek to try to cooperate with them. And this worries us. ... If this is going to be the next secretary of state, things are going to go [badly] -- there is going to be a lot of backpedaling."
It's bad enough that America's corporate giants -- brands like Apple, Nike, Costco, Coca-Cola, and Patagonia -- are secretly working to keep the Uyghurs in chains. Tim Cook's empire, Apple, has been using slave labor for years in at least four factory compounds. The place near Xinjiang is so sprawling that it's been coined "iPhone city." Thousands of Uyghurs, ripped away from their families, are forced to work there manufacturing chargers and screens -- while U.S. executives, half a world away, drone on about racial justice.
The hypocrisy is enough to make anyone sick, but especially lifelong religious freedom advocates like Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.). "You know, one of the greatest disappointments I've had in 40 years of promoting human rights and humanitarianism in Congress is that the profit motive... trump[s] human rights." He goes back to the most favored nation status, where so many people argued that America wheel and deal with China so that our American values would rub off. "And all of these big wigs in corporate America said, 'If you just trade more, they'll matriculate into a democracy.' And that has absolutely not happened. I voted against it at the time And it was Bill Clinton who shamelessly de-linked human rights from trade on May 26, 1994. It was an infamous day. Nobody remembers it, but I do. And now we have a situation where you've got slave labor camps, the most horrific oppression imaginable by Xinjiang against the Muslims in the region."
Now, he pointed out, the House has actually come together to ban imports from the Chinese regions where the oppression is most severe. In one of the strongest showings of bipartisanship, Republicans and Democrats sent the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act to the Senate, and what is corporate America doing? Trying to water the whole thing down so they can keep their cheap supply chains intact. "I'm just disappointed in the extreme," Smith said, "with the big wigs in corporate America. They should be on the front line of saying, 'We want our workers' rights protected.' Human rights should be for everyone, including people in faraway factories."
Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.