President Donald Trump took at least one major action on his last day in office, a final blow against communism. On January 19, the United States officially declared that China is committing genocide and crimes against humanity in its treatment of the Uyghur Muslim population in the Xinjiang region of the country.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement on January 19 condemning China’s actions.
“I believe this genocide is ongoing, and that we are witnessing the systematic attempt to destroy Uighurs by the Chinese party-state,” Pompeo stated, according to The New York Times. Chinese officials are “engaged in the forced assimilation and eventual erasure of a vulnerable ethnic and religious minority group.”
Many on the right are hoping that this action will force Joe Biden to be tougher on China when he becomes president on January 20.
The New York Times reported:
“The determination of atrocities is a rare action on the part of the State Department, and could lead the United States to impose more sanctions against China under the new administration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., who said last year through a spokesman that the policies by Beijing amounted to ‘genocide.’ Other nations or international institutions could follow suit in formally criticizing China over its treatment of its minority Muslims and taking punitive measures. The determination also prompts certain reviews within the State Department.”
The Chinese Communist Party has tried to be secretive about the actions being taken in the Xinjiang region, especially when it comes to the Uyghur population and other ethnic minorities. The communist leadership of China has claimed that the massive camps set up in the area are just education centers to encourage assimilation to Chinese culture.
Investigations and eyewitness testimony have shown that the camps are actually committing atrocities such as abuse and sterilization. Experts have accused the Chinese Communist Party of running “concentration camps” to kill off minority populations.
A report published in June of 2020 by The Jamestown Foundation shows that Chinese officials working in the camps have forced Uyghur women to have violent abortions, which often leave them sterile. These actions have led to plummeting birth rates in areas of Xinjiang.
“Natural population growth in Xinjiang has declined dramatically; growth rates fell by 84 percent in the two largest Uyghur prefectures between 2015 and 2018, and declined further in 2019. For 2020, one Uyghur region set an unprecedented near-zero population growth target: a mere 1.05 per [thousand], compared to an already low 11.45 per [thousand] in 2018. This was intended to be achieved through ‘family planning work,’” the report said.
“It’s genocide, full stop. It’s not immediate, shocking, mass-killing on the spot type genocide, but it’s slow, painful, creeping genocide. These are direct means of genetically reducing the Uighur population,” said Joanne Smith Finley, a university lecturer in the United Kingdom who specializes in the Xinjiang region.
Not only did the Trump administration declare that China was committing genocide, they also decided to bar entry
Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan announced that the goods that will be held at U.S. ports of entry include apparel, textiles, tomato seeds, canned tomatoes, and tomato sauce. He also said that he order will apply to products manufactured in other countries that use cotton and tomatoes from Xinjiang.
“Forced labor is a form of modern slavery. ‘Made in China’ doesn’t just indicate country of origin — it’s a warning label,” Acting Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Kenneth Cuccinelli said on a call with reporters on January 20.
Other countries are expected to follow suit, as calls for the world to stand with the United States against genocide circulate on Twitter.
“If the US can do this, it is time for the UK House of Commons to vote to #StopGenocideTrade & Stop #UyghurGenocide,” tweeted Benedict Rogers, the founder of Hong Kong Watch.
— Benedict Rogers 羅傑斯 (@benedictrogers) January 13, 2021