EXCLUSIVE: The top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Mike Rogers, introduced a measure that would withdraw the United States from the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO), claiming the bodies have been soft on China.
Rogers, R-Ala., told Fox News that the U.N. has “repeatedly proven itself to be an utterly useless organization.”
The introduction of the bill comes after the U.N.’s human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, landed in China to begin an inquiry into abuses against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang last month, but Chinese authorities severely limited the trip with COVID-19 measures.Prior to her arrival, Bachelet said the trip was not an “investigation,” and agreed to visit just two locations within the Xinjiang region where China’s human rights abuses against Uyghurs have been widely documented.
Rogers added that it is “unconscionable that China continues to sit on the U.N. Human Rights Council even as it carries out this disturbing genocide on top of its numerous and daily violations of basic human rights.”
“It’s clear the U.N. has abandoned the ideals set in its founding charter and that’s why, among many other reasons, I’ve reintroduced legislation to withdraw the United States from the U.N.,” Rogers said.
Rogers re-introduced the American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2022, which would withdraw the U.S. from the U.N., and “the corrupt World Health Organization.”
Rogers first introduced similar legislation in 2015. Aides in Rogers’ office told Fox News the bill, at the time, was referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, but “unfortunately never made it to the floor.”
“We believe that the jarring and public capitulations to the CCP by the U.N. and the WHO in the past two years will bring a renewed interest in Rep. Rogers’ bill,” the aide said.
The new legislation would block funds from being authorized to be appropriated to the United Nations or any agency and commission associated with it.
China has been accused of wrongfully imprisoning up to three million Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region, as well as carrying out forced sterilizations and abortions. Chinese authorities claim camps in the region are “re-education” facilities combating Islamic extremism.
There is overwhelming evidence to suggest China is in fact carrying out a cultural genocide against Uyghurs, and the Biden administration has condemned China for such abuses.
Congress passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act in December, a bipartisan piece of legislation that prevents the importation of goods made via forced labor in the Xinjiang region.
Rogers told Fox News that the WHO “lost all credibility when they chose to put public health second to the Chinese Communist Party by helping the CCP cover up the origins of COVID-19.”
Meanwhile, activists and others had called on Bachelet to condemn what the U.S. and others have called the genocide of Uyghur Muslims in the region. China has claimed it is engaged in anti-radicalization and counterterrorism, but activists and governments have pointed instead to evidence of mass detention, forced sterilizations, bans on religious and cultural practices, and torture.
Bachelet touted China’s “tremendous achievements” in poverty alleviation and universal health care, as well as China’s “valued” support on the U.N.’s 2030 multilateral Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
On the regime’s human rights abuses, she said she had “raised questions and concerns” about Xinjiang as she also appeared to accept Chinese claims that the policies were designed to tackle terrorism and radicalization.
“I encouraged the government to undertake a review of all counterterrorism and deradicalization policies to ensure they fully comply with international human rights standards, and in particular that they are not applied in an arbitrary and discriminatory way,” she said.
Even the Biden administration, which rejoined the Human Rights Council this year, expressed concern about Bachelet’s visit – noting the many restrictions placed on the visit by Beijing.
“While we continue to raise our concerns about China’s human rights abuses directly with Beijing and support others who do so, we are concerned the conditions Beijing authorities imposed on the visit did not enable a complete and independent assessment of the human rights environment in the PRC, including in Xinjiang, where genocide and crimes against humanity are ongoing,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.