Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jan 19, 2021 / 11:18 am
The United States has declared that the Chinese government’s actions against the Uyghur population amount to genocide and crimes against humanity.
“I have determined that the People’s Republic of China is committing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, China, targeting Uyghur Muslims and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a tweet posted shortly after noon on January 19.
“These acts are an affront to the Chinese people and to civilized nations everywhere,” said Pompeo, on his last full day as secretary of state. “The People's Republic of China and the CCP must be held to account.”
The Chinese government admitted in October 2018 that “re-education camps” for members of the Uyghur Muslim population had been established in Xingjiang. The camps were first spotted on satellite imagery in 2017.
The highest estimate sets the total number of inmates in the camps at 3 million, plus approximately half a million minor children in special boarding schools for “re-education” purposes. Survivors have reported indoctrination, forced abortions, beatings, forced labor, and torture in the camps.
In a statement published to the Department of State website, Pompeo further outlined his allegations against the People’s Republic of China.
“After careful examination of the available facts, I have determined that since at least March 2017, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), under the direction and control of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), has committed crimes against humanity against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other members of ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang,” said Pompeo.
He specifically cited the “arbitrary imprisonment” of more than a million Uyghurs; the continued use of forced sterilization, torture, and forced labor; and “the imposition of draconian restrictions on freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, and freedom of movement.”