Brussels (Brussels Morning) Departing US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced the People’s Republic of China for committing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang in its targeting of Uyghur Muslims and members of other minority groups.
In an official release, Pompeo cited exhaustive documentation of China’s actions in Xinjiang as the basis for determining that local authorities dramatically escalated their campaign of repression against Uyghurs and other minority groups, including Kazakhs and Kyrgyz.
Crimes against humanity
Pompeo followedup by making two official determinations – that China committed crimes against humanity, as well as genocide against the Uyghurs, which is currently ongoing.
The declaration by the US Secretary of State will make it easier for Washington to impose sanctions in the future, even though many of the individuals alleged to be responsible are already under sanctions. More importantly, as he leaves the State Department, Pompeo has tied the hands of the incoming Biden administration, which will have to deal with the Pompeo determinations in shaping its policies towards China.
Torture and sterilisation
According to US officials and human rights groups, China has imprisoned more than 1 million people in concentration camps – including Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups. Allegations of appalling conditions and treatment in those camps include charges torture, sterilisation, forced labour and political indoctrination.
China denies the charges, claiming that its actions are directed solely against radical elements, and that its policies in Xinjiang serve only to promote economic and social development in the region. After BuzzFeed News identified recently built internment camps in Xinjiang from fresh satellite images, the Chinese government insisted the facilities were “vocational education and training centres.”