China Accuses U.S. of Human Rights Abuses at U.N.

TOPSHOT - This photo taken on June 4, 2019 shows the Chinese flag behind razor wire at a housing compound in Yangisar, south of Kashgar, in China's western Xinjiang region. - A recurrence of the Urumqi riots which left nearly 200 people dead a decade ago is hard to imagine …
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China, which has built concentration camps holding as many as up to 3 million Muslims in the past five years, demanded at the U.N. Human Rights Council on Monday that America do more to fight “systematic racism, racial discrimination, white supremacy, religious intolerance, and xenophobia.”

Ahead of the U.N.’s periodic review of the U.S.’s human rights record on Monday, the international body published questions for the evaluation submitted by other countries in advance. China’s questions for the U.S. include, “What measures has U.S. taken to eliminate systematic racism, racial discrimination, white supremacy, religious intolerance and xenophobia?”

Satellite evidence and testimonies from escapees suggest that China has imprisoned between 1 and 3 million Uyghurs, Kyrgyz, Kazakhs, and other minorities in concentration camps over the past few years in its northwestern Xinjiang territory, which borders Central Asia.

Since at least 2017, the CCP has built concentration camps, which it officially refers to as “vocational training centers,” in Xinjiang for the purposes of mass cultural assimilation. The region’s native minorities differ greatly in terms of ethnicity, culture, language, and religion from China’s ruling ethnic Han majority; the CCP wishes to assimilate the minorities into Han culture to eliminate potential threats to the Communist Party’s power. Uyghurs who have survived Xinjiang’s detention camps say they were forced into slave labor, subjected to Communist Party political indoctrination, and endured physical and sexual abuse. Some say they were electrocuted, sterilized, or tested in manners consistent with organ harvesting.

A bipartisan group of U.S. legislators on October 26 introduced a draft bill in the U.S. Senate accusing China of committing “genocide” against ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang through its alleged detention camp system.

The resolution alleges that Beijing has discriminated “against Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and members of other Muslim minority groups” in a campaign that “constitutes genocide.”

The draft bill is meant to “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,” according to the U.S. government-funded Radio Free Asia (RFA).

The resolution was introduced by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), who were also joined by Sens. James Risch (R-ID), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR).

“There can be no question that the People’s Republic of China is committing genocide against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang,” Menendez said in a press release accompanying the resolution.

“Stopping a genocide is consistent with our national security and our values, and it starts by standing up and speaking the truth. I hope that [U.S.] President [Donald] Trump and [U.S.] Secretary Pompeo will join us in calling this genocide by its name and responding to it with our partners in the international community,” he continued.

Cornyn said the rights abuses in Xinjiang were “part of ‘a despicable campaign of genocide’ carried out by the [Chinese] state,” according to RFA.

“This resolution recognizes these crimes for what they are and is the first step toward holding China accountable for their monstrous actions,” he explained.

Risch noted in his remarks that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has implemented measures that include forced sterilizations and abortions of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, calling them “truly abhorrent.”

“These actions targeting Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities constitute genocide, and I am proud to join colleagues on both sides of the aisle in introducing a resolution that defines them as such,” he said.

“The United States and countries around the world must continue to draw attention to what is happening in Xinjiang,” Risch added.

Rubio, co-chair of the bipartisan and bicameral Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), said it is time for the U.S. to officially denounce China’s “heinous crimes” and “atrocities” in Xinjiang.

“It is for that reason that I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan resolution declaring that the egregious human rights violations against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities constitute genocide,” he said.

“Free nations must urgently come together and press for an end to these crimes and seek accountability and justice,” Rubio added.

Cardin said the U.S. Congress can no longer overlook the CCP’s abuses, which he said, “demand a forceful U.S. response.”

Merkley highlighted reports of other alleged human rights abuses by the CCP in Xinjiang, “including the use of torture in interrogations and the deployment of equipment that has turned the XUAR [Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region] into a high-tech surveillance state, which he said constituted ‘genocide, pure and simple,’ adding that the U.S. ‘can’t stand silent’ on the issue any longer,” RFA relayed.

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