China called on Wednesday January 20 to “Absurd and shameless lies” accusations by outgoing US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Beijing “Commits genocide” against the Uighurs, a Muslim minority in the Xinjiang region (northwest). This terminology “Is just a scrap of paper in our eyes”the spokeswoman for the Chinese foreign ministry told reporters.
Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that the United States now considers China “Commits genocide” against the Uighurs. “I think this genocide is still going on and that we are witnessing a systematic attempt to destroy the Uighurs by the Chinese party-state”, he added in a statement. He also mentioned “Crimes against humanity” perpetrated “Since at least March 2017” by the Chinese authorities against the Uighurs and “Other members of ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang”.
“The United States calls on the People’s Republic of China to immediately release all those arbitrarily detained and to end its system of internment and detention camps, supervised residences and forced labor.”, insisted Mike Pompeo.
Joe Biden, who will be inaugurated president on Wednesday at 6 p.m. (Paris time), had himself estimated before his election, according to a statement released in August, that the repression against the Uighurs constituted a “Genocide perpetrated by the authoritarian government of China”. His future secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said on Tuesday he shared the accusation of “Genocide”.
“The worst stain of this century”
According to foreign experts, more than a million Uighurs are or have been detained in political re-education camps in Xinjiang, a region under close police surveillance. Beijing denies and claims that they are vocational training centers, intended to provide them with employment and to distance them from Islamist terrorism and separatism after a series of deadly attacks attributed to Uighurs. Genocide consists of the total or partial destruction of a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.
Studies by American research institutes, based on interpretations of official Chinese documents, testimonies and extrapolations also accuse China of sterilizations and forced labor targeting Uighurs.
For two years, Donald Trump’s administration has accused China of carrying out a brutal campaign of repression in the Xinjiang region. Mike Pompeo estimated in March 2020 that it was “The worst stain of this century” and had already announced several rounds of sanctions against Chinese officials.
Washington also urged the international community on Tuesday “To join the United States” in their effort “To hold those responsible for these atrocities to account”. “If the Chinese Communist Party is allowed to commit genocide and crimes against humanity against its own people, one can only imagine what it will have the courage to do to the free world in the not so distant future”, warned the one who lives his last twenty-four hours as head of American diplomacy.