US declares China’s treatment of Muslims and ethnic minorities “genocide”

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Foreign Secretary Mike Pompeo has put new sanctions on China by stating this China’s policy towards Muslims and ethnic minorities in western Xinjiang province constitute a “genocide”. Pompeo made the decision on Tuesday, just 24 hours before President-elect Joe Biden took office.

“These actions are an affront to the Chinese people and to civilized nations everywhere.” Said Pompeo on twitter. “The People’s Republic of China and the CCP must be held accountable.”

The incoming Biden team did not give an immediate response, although several members in the past agreed to such a designation. Pompeo’s determination has no immediate impact.

Many of those who are accused of having attended Suppression in Xinjiang are already under US sanctions, and Tuesday’s move is the last in a series of moves the outgoing Trump administration has taken against China.

Since last year the government has steadily increased the pressure on Beijing. Impose sanctions through numerous officials and companies for their operations in Taiwan, Tibet, Hong Kong and the South China Sea.

Those penalties have gotten tougher since early last year when President Donald Trump and Pompeo accused China of trying to cover up the coronavirus pandemic. It was only on Saturday that Pompeo lifted restrictions on US diplomatic contacts with Taiwanese officials and prompted China to issue a stern reprimand that the island is viewed as a breakaway province.

A Chinese police officer takes guards on a street near an official re-education center in Yining, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China, September 4, 2018.

THOMAS PETER / REUTERS


Five days ago, the government announced that it would stop importing cotton and tomatoes from Xinjiang. Customs and border guards said they would block products there that are suspected of being made using forced labor.

Xinjiang is a leading global supplier of cotton, so the order could have a significant impact on international trade. The Trump administration has already blocked imports from individual companies associated with forced labor in the region, and the US has imposed sanctions on Communist Party officials who played a prominent role in the campaign.

China has detained more than 1 million people, including Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups, in a vast network of concentration camps, according to US officials and human rights groups. As part of an assimilation campaign in a region whose inhabitants are ethnically and culturally different from the Han Chinese majority, the people were subjected to forced labor, torture, sterilization and political indoctrination.

China has denied all charges, but Uyghur forced labor has been linked through coverage by The Associated Press of various products imported into the US, including clothing and electronic goods such as cameras and computer monitors. China says its policies in Xinjiang are only aimed at promoting economic and social development in the region and rooting out radicalism. She also rejects criticism of her internal affairs.

A look at China’s efforts to silence Muslims

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VICE News correspondent Isobel Yeung, who made a documentary about the situation, spoke to CBS News in 2019 about her experiences in China.

“What I saw there is just different from any sense of fear I’ve seen before,” Yeung told CBSN. “When it comes to stepping into this type of dystopian reality, people are really terrified of doing the wrong thing, or saying the wrong thing, or even thinking the wrong thing.”

Yeung told CBSN that Muslim children were taken from their parents and suspected of being placed in state facilities disguised as kindergartens but also serving as re-education facilities.

“It seems that they are indoctrinated with Communist Party propaganda in these places and show full loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party,” she said.





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