According to the AP, as he concludes his role as secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, declared the policies on Muslims and ethnic minorities in western Xinjiang region constitute “crimes against humanity” and a “genocide.”
“After careful examination of the available facts, I have determined that since at least March 2017, the People’s Republic of China, under the direction and control of the Chinese Communist Party, has committed crimes against humanity against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other members of ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang,” Pompeo said in a statement.
“In addition, after careful examination of the available facts, I have determined that the PRC, under the direction and control of the CCP, has committed genocide against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang. I believe this genocide is ongoing, and that we are witnessing the systematic attempt to destroy Uyghurs by the Chinese party-state.”
China has imprisoned more than 1 million people, including Uighurs and other mostly Muslim ethnic groups, in a vast network of concentration camps, according to U.S. officials and human rights groups. People have been subjected to torture, sterilization, rape, and political indoctrination in addition to forced labor as part of an assimilation campaign in a region whose inhabitants are ethnically and culturally distinct from the Han Chinese majority.
The Associated Press wrote about widespread forced birth control among the Uighurs last year, including mass sterilization.
China has denied all the charges, but Uighur forced labor has been linked by reporting from the AP to various products imported to the U.S., including clothing and electronic goods such as cameras and computer monitors.