Trump administration declares China's treatment of Uighurs 'genocide' | DW

  • Trump administration declares China's treatment of Uighurs 'genocide' | DW

Trump administration declares China's treatment of Uighurs 'genocide' | DW

President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said he agrees with Pompeo's policy determination that the CCP has engaged in genocide regarding the Uighur Muslim population.

Mr Blinken was asked at his confirmation hearing on Tuesday if he agreed with Mr Pompeo's announcement, to which he answered: "That would be my judgment as well". Officials have insisted the detention centers are meant to combat extremism and teach job skills.

FILE - Residents line up inside a vocational training center in Artux, in western China's Xinjiang region, December 3, 2018. China denied the account, saying that Uighur women were breaking free from "extremism" by using contraception. "We should be proud of the greatness, uniqueness, and exceptionalism of the United States of America".

Although the Government won a narrow victory in the House of Commons, several former ministers and other senior MPs lined up to urge Boris Johnson to put more pressure on China over its alleged human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.

Politicians across the political spectrum have called on the United States to declare that China is carrying out genocide against the Uighurs, saying that evidence was increasingly clear.

The genocide designation is a rare step for the USA government, which did not apply it to the 1994 mass killings in Rwanda until much later.

China has imprisoned over one million people, mostly Uighur and other majority-Muslim minorities, in a network of concentration camps, US officials and human rights groups say.

Trump's administration has been piling on sanctions related to Iran in recent weeks, suggesting to some that the Republican wants to make it harder for Biden's administration to re-engage with Iran and rejoin the 2015 Iran nuclear deal after he becomes president.

China has dismissed reports of mistreatment of Uighur Muslims as "lies".

Although the Biden team had referred to the suppression against Uighurs as "genocide", Xinjiang may not have been one of its priority issues.

"The unspeakable oppression that Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities have suffered at the hands of China's authoritarian government is genocide and Joe Biden stands against it in the strongest terms", said Biden campaign spokesperson Andrew Bates in August.

"[This] is the largest mass detention of a minority community since the Holocaust", the committee declared.

Ethnic Uighur women are seen during a protest against China near the Chinese Consulate in Istanbul Turkey
FILE- Ethnic Uighur women are seen during a protest against China near the Chinese Consulate in Istanbul Turkey Dec. 15 2019

"Coordinated state action is essential to bring change in China, and we believe an inquiry under the auspices of the U.N.is the best way forward".

Many of those accused of having taken part in repression in Xinjiang are already under U.S. sanctions.

Mr Pompeo urged all worldwide bodies including courts to take up cases over China's treatment of the Uighurs and voiced confidence that the United States would keep raising pressure.

"As reflected in numerous reports by journalists and scholars, the evidence of genocide is significant and substantial".

"The Secretary's statement underscores the importance of appropriate worldwide investigations and prosecutions of officials for the crime of genocide in Xinjiang", said Eric Schwartz, the president of Refugees global.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo giving a speech earlier this month.

"In addition, after careful examination of the available facts, I have determined that the PRC, under the direction and control of the CCP, has committed genocide against the predominantly Muslim Uighurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang".

"The United States does not apply these terms lightly". "I have great confidence that the American people have come to understand this challenge from the Chinese Communist Party".

The secretary's tweet echoed his official statement, in which he said, "I believe this genocide is ongoing, and that we are witnessing the systematic attempt to destroy Uyghurs by the Chinese party-state".

Last week, the administration announced it would halt imports of cotton and tomatoes from the Xinjiang province.

The House has also passed a bill to ban any imports from Xinjiang unless companies can prove that forced labor had not been used to produce products, but the bill has stalled in the GOP-controlled Senate.