In Final Days, Trump Administration Designates Oppression of Chinese Uyghurs a Genocide

01/21/2021 United States (International Christian Concern) – This week, prior to the swearing in of President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo released a statement condemning the actions taken by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) against China’s Muslim Uyghurs as a genocide.  Pompeo has long been a critic of the CCP’s persecution of Uyghurs, though has failed to formally designate the CCP’s actions as crimes against humanity and genocide until his last day of office.

In the statement, Secretary Pompeo said, “I believe this genocide is ongoing, and that we are witnessing the systematic attempt to destroy Uyghurs by the Chinese party-state. The governing authorities of the second most economically, militarily, and politically powerful country on earth have made clear that they are engaged in the forced assimilation and eventual erasure of a vulnerable ethnic and religious minority group, even as they simultaneously assert their country as a global leader and attempt to remold the international system in their image.”

The secretary also listed specific crimes against humanity committed against the Uyghurs by the CCP, including arbitrary imprisonment, torture, forced labor, and draconian restrictions on freedom of religion. There have also been reports that the CCP had been conducting forced sterilizations of Uyghur women, a major contributor to the genocide designation.  The U.S. has been tracking the CCP’s violations against China’s Muslim Uyghurs for decades, especially after an escalation of the oppressive campaign in 2017.

This designation now escalates American policy towards the China, happening just one day before President Biden took office.  With Pompeo’s shift in policy towards the Uyghurs, the Biden administration will now be pressured to take a harsher stance on China, something that former President Donald Trump regularly said that Biden would fail to do if elected.

Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager for Southeast Asia, responded to the designation, “ICC welcomes the designation of the Uyghur genocide by the State Department. The atrocities done to the ethnic Uyghurs by the Chinese Communist Party can no longer be ignored nor tolerated. China’s systematic oppression of Uyghurs is deplorable and must be stopped.”

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org.

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