The United States has declared that China is committing genocide and crimes against humanity in its treatment of the country’s Uyghur population in the Xinjiang region.
Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State, issued a statement condemning China’s behavior.
“I believe this genocide is ongoing, and that we are witnessing the systematic attempt to destroy Uighurs by the Chinese party-state,” Pompeo said in his statement. He said that Chinese officials are “engaged in the forced assimilation and eventual erasure of a vulnerable ethnic and religious minority group.”
Pompeo outlined a series of follow-up actions within the U.S. State Department and may force President-elect Joe Biden to be tougher on China after he is sworn into office.
The New York Times reported:
“The determination of atrocities is a rare action on the part of the State Department, and could lead the United States to impose more sanctions against China under the new administration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., who said last year through a spokesman that the policies by Beijing amounted to “genocide.” Other nations or international institutions could follow suit in formally criticizing China over its treatment of its minority Muslims and taking punitive measures. The determination also prompts certain reviews within the State Department.”
The Chinese Communist Party is very secretive about what goes on in its northwest territory, especially regarding the Uyghur population and other ethnic minorities.
There are massive camps set up in the region, but the CCP claims they are used for educational purposes and to help Uyghurs “assimilate to Chinese culture.”
Eye-witnesses have reported that the camps are actually used as centers of abuse and sterilization. Experts are accusing China of running “concentration camps” in an effort to kill off the minority populations in the northwest region.
In a June report from The Jamestown Foundation, Chinese officials working at the camps forced pregnant Uyghur women to have violent abortions, often leaving the women sterile. This brutal practice has caused birth rates to plummet in the region.
“Natural population growth in Xinjiang has declined dramatically; growth rates fell by 84 percent in the two largest Uyghur prefectures between 2015 and 2018, and declined further in 2019. For 2020, one Uyghur region set an unprecedented near-zero population growth target: a mere 1.05 per [thousand], compared to an already low 11.45 per [thousand] in 2018. This was intended to be achieved through ‘family planning work,’” the report said.
“It’s genocide, full stop. It’s not immediate, shocking, mass-killing on the spot type genocide, but it’s slow, painful, creeping genocide,” said Joanne Smith Finley, a university lecturer in the United Kingdom who specializes in the Xinjiang region. “These are direct means of genetically reducing the Uighur population.”