Washington D.C., Jan 21, 2021 / 14:45 pm
President Joe Biden’s nominee for Secretary of State agrees with his predecessor’s declaration that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is committing genocide against Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang.
“That would be my judgment as well,” said Antony Blinken, President Joe Biden’s nominee for Secretary of State, when asked by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Tuesday if he agreed with former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s genocide designation.
Blinken appeared before members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday for a hearing considering his nomination to Biden’s cabinet. He also said he was “very much in agreement” with the Trump administration’s view of the situation in the Chinese province of Xinjiang.
On January 19, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that he had “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.”
Pompeo stated, “[t]he People’s Republic of China and the CCP must be held to account.”
On Tuesday, Blinken said that the gravity and scope of the atrocities committed in Xinjiang against predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and others has risen to the level of genocide.
“The forcing of men, women and children into concentration camps; trying to, in effect, re-educate them to be adherents to the ideology of the Chinese Communist Party, all of that speaks to an effort to commit genocide,” he said.
Xinjiang, a region in China’s northwest nearly three times the size of France, is home to 23 million Turkic people including Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Muslim minorities.