The below article was published by The Federalist, Photo credit: ETGE
In a historic decision, the United States officially declared on Tuesday that the Chinese Communist Party is committing genocide against the Uighurs, a minority Muslim population located in the Xinjiang province in China.
Following investigations into the CCP’s use of mass imprisonment of more than 1 million people, forced labor, forced sterilization, torture, and limits on religious freedom, freedom of expression, and freedom of movement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that the United States has definitively evaluated and labeled these actions by the CCP as “crimes against humanity.”
“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,” Pompeo said in a statement.
According to another senior State Department official, “these designations are very rare” and are “not taken lightly” by the government, but required action after the treatment of the Uighurs demonstrated “an affront to the Chinese people and the civilized world.”
One official also noted that while China tries to “portray itself as a normal rule-abiding state while doing everything on the ground to the opposite of that, whether it’s Hong Kong, the South China Sea, or you name it,” this designation tells a different story.
In light of the designation, Pompeo called for China “immediately to release all arbitrarily detained persons” as well as “abolish … all torture and abuse” of the Uighurs. The outgoing secretary also requested the assistance of other countries to “promote accountability for those responsible for these atrocities.”
The “bipartisan” resolution, announced just one day before President Donald Trump leaves office, follows years of debate about how to label and address China’s actions in the Xinjiang province. Most of the information, State Department officials noted, came from “open-source information,” with “extra steps” taken to verify it.
Pompeo also signaled the department’s intent to “continue to investigate and collect relevant information regarding the ongoing atrocities occurring in Xinjiang, and to make this evidence available to appropriate authorities and the international community to the extent allowable by law.”
Salih Hudayar, Prime Minister of the East Turkistan Government in Exile, praised the announcement, also urging other governments and the incoming Biden administration to join in taking action against China.
While CCP officials and Chinese propaganda outlets continue to deny that they are targeting the Muslim minority group, the United States already took action against the communist regime, previously banning the importation of certain products originating from Xinjiang and even blacklisting certain Chinese companies for enabling the violations.
Certain American companies such as Nike, Coca-Cola, and Apple recently came under fire after using their lobbying power to oppose the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, a bill prohibiting product imports manufactured in China using forced labor. The bill passed in the House with bipartisan support 406-3 and awaits approval from the Senate.
Jordan Davidson is a staff writer at The Federalist. She graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism.