The Chinese Communist Party is already implementing “the future of what oppression’s going to look like” with intense surveillance of ethnic minorities, according to Sam Brownback, the State Department’s ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.
“It’s going to be cameras and identification. It’s going to be social credit systems. It’s going to be oppression, particularly if you want to practice your faith,” Brownback said when announcing the release of the State Department’s annual International Religious Freedom report Wednesday. “These are the things that is [sic] the virtual police state that we’re very concerned about.”
The 2019 International Religious Freedom report, like others before it, describes the status of religious freedom in every country.
In China, the report described “reports of deaths in custody and that the government tortured, physically abused, arrested, detained, sentenced to prison, subjected to forced indoctrination in CCP [Chinese Communist Party] ideology, or harassed adherents of both registered and unregistered religious groups for activities related to their religious beliefs and practices.”
In Xinjiang, the Chinese government has detained more than one million Uighurs, Kazakhs, Hui and members of other Muslim groups in internment camps, according to the U.S. government and human rights groups. There, Chinese authorities subject these minorities to “forced disappearance, political indoctrination, torture, physical and psychological abuse, including forced sterilization and sexual abuse, forced labor, and prolonged detention without trial because of their religion and ethnicity,” according to the State Department.
Brownback told Fox News he considers China his biggest area of concern “and not because it's the worst."
"There are other countries that are actually more oppressive, but it's because it's so big and it’s technologically advanced and it seeks to export its system to other places," he explained.
Chinese government surveillance technology and practices are spreading from Xinjiang to other areas of China and different countries, such North Korea, Brownback said.
“Less people put in jail, but more people -- and in fact, the entire society -- really being followed by these high-tech systems,” he said.