Detainees at a Xinjiang 're-education camp'.
/ January 20, 2021
The U.S. State Department on Tuesday declared that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has committed "genocide and crimes against humanity" in its treatment of ethnic and religious minorities.
China has established some 85 concentration camps in Xinjiang Province which hold more than 1 million Muslim Uihgurs. The communist government of supreme leader Xi Jinping long denied the camps existed, but acknowledged they did after photos emerged online. China refers to the camps as "re-education centers."
Members of China's Muslim minority say they were detained, interrogated, and beaten because of their religion. They say the were interned, not "re-educated."
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday said "after careful deliberation, I have determined that the People’s Republic of China, under the direction and control of the Chinese Communist Party, has committed genocide and crimes against humanity against the predominantly Muslim Uighurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups, including ethnic Kazakhs and Kyrgyz. This announcement is the result of an exhaustive years-long investigation that has spanned the globe and benefited from the efforts of government and non-government partners to document this nightmare, as well as the bipartisan support of Congress."
Pompeo noted in a Jan. 19 op-ed
for the Wall Street Journal that "The Chinese Communist Party, like other authoritarian regimes, has never cherished human life. That’s clear from the well-known horrors the party inflicted on the Chinese people during the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, the Tiananmen Square massacre and the decades of repression of Tibetans and Falun Gong practitioners. Yet the free world has become dangerously inured to this bloody history. So long as we remain silent, party elites will continue to commit human-rights abuses against the people of China with impunity. We cannot allow this cycle of evil to continue."
In Xinjiang, "arbitrary and indefinite detentions lasting months or years at a time are common inside this modern gulag," Pompeo said. "Survivors tell of torture, sexual abuse including rape, forced labor, the use of electric shock to extract false confessions, and unexplained deaths in custody. Uighurs scarcely fare better outside the camps — Xinjiang has become a proving ground for an Orwellian surveillance state."
The CCP also sought to "stop Uighur women from giving birth via forced abortion and sterilization," Pompeo said. "Involuntary contraception measures, such as forced insertions of intrauterine devices, are also deployed."
"They want to destroy us as a people," said one such victim.
Pompeo said the U.S. has "unleashed sanctions against senior Communist Party leaders responsible for the repression across Xinjiang — the only country to have done so."
Pompeo concluded: "In the anguished cries from Xinjiang, the U.S. hears the echoes of Nazi Germany, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. May all nations that hear them likewise bear witness to the stain of the century — the Chinese Communist Party’s genocide and crimes against humanity."
Free Press International