On Tuesday, the United States become the first country in the world to officially declare that China is committing “genocide” against its Uyghur population, a Muslim ethnic minority in the communist nation’s western Xinjiang province.
"This genocide is ongoing, and that we are witnessing the systematic attempt to destroy Uyghurs by the Chinese party-state," U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement Tuesday, marking one of the last actions taken by the outgoing Trump administration.
The State Department estimates as many as 2 million Uyghurs, including men, women and children, are being held against their will in forced labor camps. Over the past year, multiple reports have emerged that the Chinese communist government was using forced Uyghur labor to make up for manufacturing deficits caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Others have been interned in “reeducation camps,” where former inmates have testified to having been tortured into compliance.
"Since at least March 2017, local authorities dramatically escalated their decades-long campaign of repression against Uyghur Muslims and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups, including ethnic Kazakhs and ethnic Kyrgyz," Pompeo said, adding that “"[Chinese] authorities have conducted forced sterilizations and abortions on Uyghur women, coerced them to marry non-Uyghurs, and separated Uyghur children from their families.”
In July of 2020, U.S. border officials seized a shipment containing 13 tons of human hairsuspected to have been forcibly taken from Uyghur women being held in the camps.
Earlier this month, the Chinese Embassy in the U.S. openly boasted on Twitter about the government’s forced sterilization of Uyghur women, saying the women had been “emancipated” and are “no longer baby-making machines.” The tweet was eventually removed by Twitter, but only after days of complaints.
Despite being formally condemned by the United States government for committing genocide against an ethnic people group, Twitter continues to allow the Chinese government to utilize their platform for propaganda while still banning President Donald Trump for allegedly “inciting violence.”
(Cover Photo: Sean Chiu)