China’s foreign ministry spokesman on Wednesday accused U.S. senators of telling “all sorts of lies” after the U.S. Senate introduced a draft bill on Monday accusing Beijing of committing “genocide” against ethnic and religious minorities in its northwestern territory of Xinjiang.
Put forth by a bipartisan group of U.S. legislators, the resolution alleges that China has discriminated “against Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and members of other Muslim minority groups” in a campaign that “constitutes genocide.”
The proposed legislation “would hold China accountable under the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and set in motion the process to coordinate an international response to end abuses in the region,” the U.S. government-funded Radio Free Asia explained on Tuesday.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has detained one to three million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in state-run concentration camps in Xinjiang over the past few years, human rights groups estimate. The CCP built the camps, which it refers to as vocational training centers, to carry out massive cultural assimilation of the region’s native ethnic minorities, who differ greatly from China’s ruling ethnic Han majority. Uyghurs who have survived the camps say they were forced into slave labor, subjected to Communist political indoctrination, and experienced physical and sexual abuse.
News of the U.S. Senate’s new draft bill denouncing China’s actions in Xinjiang as “genocide” drew ire from Beijing this week. When asked by Agence France Presse about the resolution at a daily press conference on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin responded:
The US Senators you mentioned are entrenched in their anti-China bias and obsessed with making up all sorts of lies to vilify China and seek selfish political gains. You will not find any trace of political integrity in them.
We have repeatedly stated China’s position on issues relating to Xinjiang. The so-called ‘genocide’ is a rumor deliberately started by some anti-China forces and a farce to discredit China.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo weighed in on the subject while in India on Tuesday as part of a regional Asia tour. He told Indian news site The Print that the CCP’s actions in Xinjiang “remind us of what happened in the 1930s in Germany.”
“When you see what’s happening in the west (of China), to the Uyghur Muslims, these are the kind of things you only see in authoritarian regimes … a massive set of human rights violations,” Pompeo said.