Leer en Español
On January 19, 2021, the Trump administration denounced that China commits genocide and crimes against humanity against religious minorities in Xinjiang. According to the press, this would be the last and strongest denunciation that the Trump administration pronounces before leaving the White House.
In a statement, Secretary Mike Pompeo reported the two U.S. decisions on the situation of Uyghurs and other members of ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang.
Following the demonstrations in Hong Kong and the victims’ work before various civil organizations, it became clear that the Chinese Communist Party has committed constant human rights violations.
The United States has played a key role in giving voice to the victims. And it has been the Administration of President Donald Trump that has made the most forceful decisions against the regime. According to The New York Times, “The finding by the Trump administration is the strongest denunciation by any government of China’s actions.”
In the face of the continued persecution of religious minorities in China, Tibet, and Xinjiang by the Chinese Communist Party, the United States imposed sanctions in 2019-20 against senior officials of the CCP Bureau, against companies linked to Chinese security and technology, and against diplomats in the United States, increasing tensions and forcing the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston.
Given Beijing’s interference in Hong Kong, in which violations of freedom have been committed, the Trump Administration took unprecedented decisions such as sanctioning the head of the Executive, Carrie Lam.
Secretary Mike Pompeo was one of the leading figures in this crusade for human rights and religious freedom. Pompeo was able to articulate the United States allies to generate a chain reaction in favor of the victims.
From cultural genocide to genocide and crimes against humanity
On the region of Xinjiang (Uyghuristan), Robert O’Brien, U.S. national security advisor, said that Beijing authorities were perpetrating “something like genocide with their treatment of Muslims.”
China has built concentration camps in that region in order to Chinicize Islam, according to the media. The policy of the Communist Party in the region has been called by human rights observers “cultural genocide” against the minority group of Turkic people. The UN in 2018 estimated, according to the press, that more than one million Muslims are confined.
On the other hand, the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, in his tour of Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, has described as “shocking” and “disturbing” the reports that evidence sterilization and abortion as imposition, forced family planning, and cultural and religious repression against Muslims in Xinjiang by the Chinese communist regime.
While Beijing is relaxing limits on family size, in Xinjiang there have been increased reports of birth control and “other types of sanctions on Uyghur couples who have more than two children, or three if they live in the country”. According to an Associated Press report “in China, Uyghur women are forced to wear IUDs to limit the growth of this group.”
The Economist reported that “Survivors have testified about a compulsory regimen of pills and injections, treatments that mirror those given to dissidents and prisoners of conscience elsewhere in China.”
According to the report, detainees are forced to chant slogans such as “I am Chinese” and “I love Xi Jinping.” The Economist reports that some facilities simply force inmates to sit on stools all day, surrounded by guards, and watch repeated television broadcasts about the importance of the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese president’s greatness.
Sanctions and commercial restrictions
The Trump Administration in 2020 made progress with investigations into genocide and crimes against humanity in China.
In June, U.S. Customs and Border Protection made “massive” seizures of hair products made from human hair from Xinjiang and accessories suspected of being forced labor products, O’Brien added:
“The Chinese are literally shaving the heads of Uyghur women making hair products with it and shipping it to the United States.”
The United States also imposed sanctions and restrictions on cotton imports on Xinjiang suppliers, after finding that at least 570,000 people from ethnic and religious groups have been forced to work in cotton companies in Xinjiang.
In the statement issued on January 19, 2021, the State Department calls on “all relevant multilateral legal bodies to join with the United States in our effort to promote accountability for those responsible for these atrocities.”
The investigations that led the United States to find the Chinese Communist Party responsible for committing genocide and crimes against humanity have been ongoing, according to the State Department, since 2017.
Despite the allegations, on October 13, 2020, 45 countries, led by Cuba, praised the Chinese regime for “safeguarding the human rights of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang.” According to the Cuban regime, China’s actions in Xinjiang are not a violation of human rights, but an effort to contain Islamic extremism and terrorism in the region.
Camilo Bello is a consultant focused on Asia Pacific studies and has experience in strategic management. He has studied law in Colombia and is currently pursuing studies in language and history at National Taiwan Normal University. He has collaborated with Students for Freedom in Hong Kong and Taiwan // Camilo es consultor enfocado en estudios de Asia Pacífico y experiencia en gestión estratégica. Cuenta con estudios en Derecho en Colombia y actualmente se encuentra realizando estudios en lenguaje e historia en National Taiwan Normal University. Colaborador de Estudiantes por la Libertad en Hong Kong y Taiwán