The International Campaign for Tibet welcomes the United States’ decision to bar Chen Quanguo, the architect of mass human rights violations in the Tibet Autonomous Region, from entering the US.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement today, July 9, 2020, that Chen and two other senior Chinese Communist Party officials who are serving in Xinjiang—known to Uyghurs as East Turkestan— are banned “for their involvement in gross violations of human rights.”
Their immediate family members are also “ineligible for entry into the United States” pursuant to the FY 2020 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, the statement added.
Chen served as party secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Region, which spans about half of Tibet, from 2011-2016.
While there, he developed a system of constant mass surveillance, torture and militarization that included efforts to force Tibetans to spy on their neighbors, station Communist Party cadres in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and incentivize Tibetan-Chinese intermarriage in the hopes of eventually eliminating Tibetans’ unique identity.
Chen now has the same role in Xinjiang, where he has masterminded mass internment camps for more than 1 million Uyghurs and other Muslim groups.
“Before ramping up the CCP’s campaign of repression in Xinjiang, Chen oversaw extensive abuses in Tibetan areas,” Pompeo said, “using many of the same horrific practices and policies CCP officials currently employ in Xinjiang.”
Visa restrictions under Tibet access law
Pompeo’s statement follows his announcement on July 7 of visa restrictions on CCP and Chinese government authorities under the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act.
Pompeo did not share which officials the restrictions apply to. RATA requires the State Department to restrict entry to the US by the Chinese officials “substantially involved in the formulation or execution of policies related to access for foreigners to Tibetan areas,” Pompeo noted, quoting the bill’s text.
“Chen Quanguo is truly one of the worst human rights abusers in the world today, and he cut his repressive teeth in Tibet,” ICT President Matteo Mecacci said. “By developing a model of intense security and forced assimilation in the Tibet Autonomous Region, then implementing and expanding on that model in Xinjiang, Chen has inflicted untold suffering on millions of Tibetans, Uyghurs and other non-Chinese ethnic groups.
“We applaud Secretary Pompeo and the State Department for taking these actions today, and we thank the US Congress and government for standing up for the rights of Tibetans and Uyghurs, and all those whom the CCP persecutes.
“We also wish to welcome once again Secretary Pompeo’s announcement earlier this week about imposing visa restrictions on CCP and Chinese government officials under the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act. By continuing to publicly penalize China for its human right abuses in Tibet and Xinjiang, the US can make sure that the concerns of those long-suffering communities remain high on its agenda when dealing with China. That is why we look forward to the US government publicly naming the CCP and Chinese officials sanctioned under the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act.”