Gardner Welcomes Sanctions on Chinese Entity, Officials for Human Rights Abuses

New sanctions are consistent with Gardner’s Asia Reassurance Initiative Act

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy, released the following statement today regarding new sanctions imposed on a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) entity and two current or former officials due to their connections to the serious human rights abuses against ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR).

“The mass concentration camps for Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region should shock the conscience, and these new sanctions on the CCP demonstrate that the United States is taking action to hold human rights abusers in China accountable,” said Senator Gardner. “The Administration and Congress must be united on implementing a long-term strategy in the Indo-Pacific region, as envisioned by my Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA). This includes strengthening our alliances and enhancing our economic partnerships to counter China’s malign behavior and project American values of respect for human rights and freedom in the Indo-Pacific.”

At a hearing held yesterday by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promised Senator Gardner that more actions would be taken against Chinese government entities and officials for the human rights abuses against Uighurs. 

In July 2020, Gardner blasted China’s human rights abuses at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearingwith Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun.

Gardner’s Asia Reassurance Initiative Act, signed into law in December 2018, authorizes funding to promote democracy, human rights, and rule of law in the People’s Republic of China and supports sanctions designations against any entity or individual that violates human rights or religious freedoms or engages in censorship activities.

In December 2018, Gardner held a hearing in his subcommittee specifically focused on China’s human rights abuses, including hearing testimony from one of the top Uighur community leaders. The hearing was the first public instance where the U.S. Department of State publicly revealed that over two million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities are being detained in modern-day concentration camps in Xinjiang. Also in December 2018, Gardner condemned China’s human rights abuses in a personal meeting with China’s Ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai.


Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.