US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accused China of committing ‘genocide’ against Uighur Muslims, making the US the first country in the world to do so (Pictures: Getty)
The United States government has accused China of committing ‘genocide’ and ‘crimes against humanity’ over its treatment of Uighur Muslims rounded-up and sent to ‘reeducation’ camps.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the accusation on Tuesday morning while detailing a new report compiled by the State Department into China’s persecution of the Uighurs. The United States is now the first country in the world to have accused China of genocide over its treatment of Uighurs.
That is likely to delight human rights groups who have long called for a probe into China’s persecution of the Uighurs, but will also trigger a gigantic diplomatic rift for Joe Biden to handle after he is sworn in on Wednesday.
Pompeo made the declaration just one day before he is replaced by Joe Biden’s pick for his job, Anthony Blinken. The Secretary of State – a key ally of President Trump – said ‘these crimes are ongoing,’ and accused China’s government of imprisoning over 1million Uighurs.
Drone footage shows Uighur Muslims being forced onto a train in China, with Mike Pompeo now accusing the Chinese government of ‘genocide’ against them (Picture: BBC)
He went on to say the country’s communist leadership had forcibly sterilized Uighurs, tortured them, broken them down with forced labor and placed harsh restrictions on their religious freedom, freedom of expression and ability to move around freely.
China has yet to respond to Pompeo’s claims. Biden’s team previously accused China of inflicting genocide on Uighurs, although the incoming president had not been expected to raise the issue immediately after beginning his term in office.
Xinjiang in northwest China is home to around 11million Uighurs, as well as other Muslim groups, who have long faced severe repression at the hands of President Xi Jinping’s communist government.
Pompeo commissioned an internal review into China’s behavior in Xinjiang last year, to determine whether the country’s behavior constituted genocide and crimes against humanity.
The US State Department, which Pompeo heads, has for years pushed for greater awareness of China’s persecution of the Uighurs.
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