Washington, USA – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that they had concluded that China had committed “genocide” and “crimes against humanity” in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. Trump administration declares China’s repression of Uighurs ‘genocide’

The Trump administration has determined that China has committed “genocide and crimes against humanity” in its repression of Uighur Muslims in its Xinjiang region, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday, delivering an embarrassing blow to Beijing a day before US President-elect Joe Biden is to take office.

US officials briefing reporters on the move said in a call that “an exhaustive documentation of (China’s) own policies, practices and abuse in Xinjiang” viewed by Pompeo led him to make the determination that such acts had been committed since at least March 2017.

“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,” Pompeo said in a statement.

“I believe this genocide is ongoing, and that we are witnessing the systematic attempt to destroy UIghurs by the Chinese party-state,” he added.

The move is certain to strain further already frayed ties between the world’s top two economies, which have plummeted to their lowest level in decades in the last year of President Donald Trump’s administration.

The rare determination follows intensive internal debate after Congress passed legislation on December 27, 2020 requiring the US administration to determine within 90 days whether forced labor or other alleged crimes against the Uighurs and other Muslim minorities are crimes against humanity or a genocide.

“This is a decision that we do not take lightly,” one of the U.S. officials on the call said. “It has gone through a lot of process and a lot of analysis. The Secretary made the determination in his role… that this is the tool that we need to deploy at this time in order to advance this vitally important cause.”

China has been widely condemned for complexes in Xinjiang that it describes as “vocational training centers” to stamp out extremism and give people new skills, but which others have called concentration camps. Beijing denies accusations of abuse.

Biden’s campaign declared, before the November 3, 2020 US election, that genocide was occurring in China’s western Xinjiang region.

The US decision does not automatically unleash any penalties, but it means countries will have to think hard about allowing companies to do business with Xinjiang, a leading global supplier of cotton. Last week the United States imposed a ban on all cotton and tomato products from Xinjiang.

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

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has hit China with new sanctions by declaring that China’s policies on Muslims and ethnic minorities in western Xinjiang Province constitute a “genocide.” Pompeo made the determination on Tuesday just 24 hours before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

“These acts are an affront to the Chinese people and to civilized nations everywhere,” Pompeo said on Twitter. “The People’s Republic of China and the CCP must be held to account.”

There was no immediate response from the incoming Biden team, although several members have been sympathetic to such a designation in the past. Pompeo’s determination does not come with any immediate repercussions.

Many of those accused of having taken part in repression in Xinjiang are already under US sanctions, and Tuesday’s move is the latest in a series of steps the outgoing Trump administration has taken against China.

Since last year, the administration has steadily ramped up pressure on Beijing, imposing sanctions on numerous officials and companies for their activities in Taiwan, Tibet, Hong Kong and the South China Sea.

Those penalties have gotten harsher since the beginning of last year when President Donald Trump and Pompeo began to accuse China of trying to cover up the coronavirus pandemic. Just on Saturday, Pompeo lifted restrictions on US diplomatic contacts with Taiwanese officials, prompting a stern rebuke from China, which regards the island as a renegade province.

Five days ago, the administration announced it would halt imports of cotton and tomatoes from Xinjiang with Customs and Border Protection officials saying they would block products from there suspected of being produced with forced labor.

Xinjiang is a major global supplier of cotton, so the order could have significant effects on international commerce. The Trump administration has already blocked imports from individual companies linked to forced labor in the region, and the US has imposed sanctions on Communist Party officials with prominent roles in the campaign.

China has imprisoned more than 1 million people, including Uighurs and other mostly Muslim ethnic groups, in a vast network of concentration camps, according to US officials and human rights groups. People have been subjected to torture, sterilization and political indoctrination in addition to forced labor as part of an assimilation campaign in a region whose inhabitants are ethnically and culturally distinct from the Han Chinese majority.

China has denied all the charges, but Uighur forced labor has been linked by reporting from The Associated Press to various products imported to the US, including clothing and electronic goods such as cameras and computer monitors. China says its policies in Xinjiang aim only to promote economic and social development in the region and stamp out radicalism. It also rejects criticism of what it considers its internal affairs.

VICE News correspondent Isobel Yeung, who made a documentary about the situation, talked about her experience in China.

“What I witnessed there is just unlike any sense of fear I have witnessed before,” “When it comes to going into this kind of dystopian reality, people are really, really afraid to do the wrong thing or to say the wrong thing or to even think the wrong thing.”

Yeung told that Muslim children were taken from their parents and suspected to be placed in state-run institutions, which are disguised as kindergartens but double as live-in re-education facilities.

“It seems that within these places they are indoctrinated with Communist Party propaganda and taught all-out loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party,” she said.

US says China has committed genocide against Muslim Uighurs

In a statement, outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he believes the genocide is ‘ongoing’

The Trump administration has determined that China has committed “genocide and crimes against humanity” in its repression of Uighur Muslims in its Xinjiang region, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday, delivering an embarrassing blow to Beijing a day before US president-elect Joe Biden is to take office.

US officials briefing reporters on the move said in a call that “an exhaustive documentation of China’s own policies, practices and abuse in Xinjiang” viewed by Pompeo led him to make the determination that such acts had been committed since at least March 2017.

“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,” Pompeo said in a statement.

“I believe this genocide is ongoing, and that we are witnessing the systematic attempt to destroy Uighurs by the Chinese party-state.”

The move is certain to further strain already frayed ties between the world’s top two economies, which have plummeted to their lowest level in decades in the last year of President Donald Trump’s administration.

The rare determination follows intensive internal debate after Congress passed legislation on December 27,2020 requiring the US administration to determine within 90 days whether forced labour or other alleged crimes against the Uighurs and other Muslim minorities are crimes against humanity or a genocide.

“This is a decision that we do not take lightly,” one of the US officials on the call said. “It has gone through a lot of process and a lot of analysis. The Secretary made the determination in his role … that this is the tool that we need to deploy at this time in order to advance this vitally important cause.”

China has been widely condemned for complexes in Xinjiang that it describes as “vocational training centres” to stamp out extremism and give people new skills, but which others have called concentration camps. Beijing denies accusations of abuse.

Biden’s campaign declared, before the November 3, 2020 US election, that genocide was occurring in China’s western Xinjiang region.

The US decision does not automatically unleash any penalties, but it means countries will have to think hard about allowing companies to do business with Xinjiang, a leading global supplier of cotton. Last week the United States imposed a ban on all cotton and tomato products from Xinjiang.

It’s the latest move made by Pompeo as his tenure winds down that could also complicate the strategies of Biden’s foreign policy team going forward.