China possibly carried out “genocide” against Uyghurs and other minority Muslims in its western region of Xinjiang, said a commission of the United States Congress in a new report.
The report, released by The Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), stated that the Chinese government and Communist Party have taken unprecedented steps to extend their repressive policies through censorship, intimidation, and the detention of people in China for exercising their fundamental human rights.
“Nowhere is this more evident than in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) where new evidence emerged that crimes against humanity–and possibly genocide–are occurring, and in Hong Kong, where the ”one country, two systems” framework has been effectively dismantled,” read a report released on Thursday.
The actions of the Chinese government also “contravene both the letter and the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”; violate its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which the Chinese government “has signed but not ratified”; and violate the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, ratified in 2001, the report stated further.
Chinese authorities arbitrarily detain Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups. In contrast, Chinese state media has claimed that these facilities are used for vocational training and anti-terrorism efforts.
The report recommends that members of the U.S. Congress and Administration officials are encouraged to call on the Chinese government to end the mass arbitrary detention of predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities, including Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Hui, and others, in mass internment camps, and release those currently detained.
The CECC report called for a formal US “determination on whether atrocities are being committed” in Xinjiang.
“The United States must continue to stand with the people of China in their struggle and lead the world in a united and coordinated response to the human rights abuses of the Chinese government,” said CECC Chairman Jim McGovern in a statement.
The Democrat representative said that both Congress and the incoming President-elect Joe Biden-led Administration should use the reporting and recommendations contained in this report “to hold the Chinese government accountable and more effectively prioritize the promotion of universal human rights and the rule of law in the US-China relationship.”
The report comes after the United States on Wednesday announced a ban on the entry of cotton and tomato products from China’s Xinjiang region amid allegations that detainee or prison labour from Uyghurs went into making them, according to the US Customs and Border Protection.
Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, in August, came down heavily on China for its human rights abuses in Xinjiang and said the US sanctions will put business operating in the region on notice. Pompeo in July said that it is time “for a new alliance of democracies” to counter Beijing’s aggressive policies.
China has been rebuked globally for cracking down on Uyghur Muslims by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and sending members of the community to undergo some form of forcible re-education or indoctrination.
Beijing, on the other hand, has vehemently denied that it is engaged in human rights abuses against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang while reports from journalists, NGOs and former detainees have surfaced, highlighting the Chinese Communist Party’s brutal crackdown on the ethnic community, according to a report.
Genocide is a serious crime under international law and the US government has adopted the term on rare occasions only after extensive documentation.
Some experts said reports of mass surveillance, torture, arbitrary detentions and forced detentions employed by China against Uyghurs amount to “demographic genocide”.