Now is the time for all Americans to take action to stop the Chinese regime’s genocide against Uyghur Muslims, a state-led crime reminiscent of the Holocaust, said former State Department officials Keith Krach and Ellie Cohanim.
The genocide designation was made by then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in January over the Chinese regime’s persecution against Uyghurs in the far-western Xinjiang region. The persecution has included forced sterilization, forced abortion, torture, forced labor, and the removal of children from their families.
Meanwhile, more than one million Uyghurs are currently detained inside China’s internment camps—facilities that the Chinese regime has labeled as “vocational training schools.”
On Monday, the United States, Canada, the UK, and the European Union unveiled coordinated sanctions against Chinese officials responsible for the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) oppressive policy in Xinjiang.
“We’re very happy to see governments take the right approach. But we’ve also laid a plan for every American, so that every American can take action today,” Cohanim said in a joint interview with Krach on The Epoch Times’ “American Thought Leaders” program.
The sanctions are the right approach because the CCP “can only understand strength,” according to Cohanim.
Cohanim previously served as U.S. deputy special envoy to monitor and combat anti-semitism, and is now a visiting fellow at the U.S. nonprofit Independent Women’s Forum.
Keith Krach is the former undersecretary of state for economic growth, energy, and environment.
“This is the time to stop it. If we don’t, then it’s going to continue. And it’s going to spread,” Krach said.
In a recent op-ed on Newsweek, Cohanim and Krach drew parallels between the Holocaust and the CCP’s repression in Xinjiang. One similarity, they wrote, is the CCP’s dehumanization of Uyghurs, which is reminiscent of how the Nazis portrayed Jews before sending them to concentration camps.
“We’re seeing these exact same tactics practiced by the Chinese Communist Party, where they’re calling the Uyghur religion a communicable plague. They describe the Uyghurs themselves as malignant tumors. And they’ve described the Uyghurs as being similar to weeds, and that you must use chemicals to get all of them,” Cohanim told The Epoch Times.
She added: “This kind of language is so incredibly reminiscent of the horrible language of the Nazis [against the Jews].”
‘Emptying the Cash Register’
Americans can stop funding the CCP by not investing in Chinese companies with ties to Beijing or the Chinese military.
“The sound of emptying the cash register will be heard loud and clear on the other side of the world in Xinjiang,” the op-ed said.
Krach said, “What’s really sad is that the average American investor is unknowingly financing the Chinese Communist Party.” He said that passive investments in index funds, mutual funds, or ETFs that in turn invest in Chinese companies have contributed to China’s human rights abuses, surveillance system, or military development.
Cohanim encouraged American investors—such as people who have savings in a pension fund, investments in a mutual fund, or those who donate to a foundation or a university endowment fund—to contact their fund managers and brokerage companies to demand transparency over their investments.
“If your broker or the fund representative is not willing to share information about where you’re invested, then it might be time to look elsewhere,” Cohanim added.
Under the Trump administration, many Chinese companies were slapped with U.S. sanctions over their roles in enabling Beijing’s repression in Xinjiang, aiding the Chinese military by taking part in the CCP’s military-civil fusion strategy, and militarizing the South China Sea.
Currently, 44 Chinese companies have been identified by the Pentagon as “Communist Chinese military companies” (CCMCs), including telecom giants China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom. A State Department fact sheet shows that these 44 companies have over 1,100 subsidiaries.
In November, then-President Donald Trump issued an executive order banning U.S. investment in these 44 companies and their subsidiaries.
Aside from average American investors, Krach said that corporations and organizations that have a powerful voice also have a responsibility.
For example, Krach called on the Swiss-based World Economic Forum (WEF) to put CCP’s persecution in Xinjiang on the agenda of its meetings.
“I couldn’t even see it on their website—their list of topics. I’ve been going there for 20 years,” Krach said, referring to the WEF.
The WEF will hold a special annual meeting in Singapore for four days beginning on May 25.
Krach also called on the ESG community—investors that emphasize strong environmental, social, and corporate governance conduct in their investments—to speak up about the persecution in Xinjiang. For corporate chief executive officers, they should make sure that their supply chains are clean, he added.
For business leaders, Krach said that conflicts of interest affect corporate responsibility. Since many companies have large stakes in the Chinese market, they don’t want to upset the Chinese authorities out of fear of retribution.
“I believe nobody should bend the knee to the Chinese Communist Party. We clearly have the moral high ground here,” Krach said.