Genocide in China

Keegan Godwin (TheLorian)

On Jan. 19, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared ‘China was carrying out a genocide against Uighurs and other Muslim peoples’ according to the New York Times. This declaration came on the last full day of the Trump Administration in the White House. Beijing has been accused of committing crimes against humanity for many years now. This statement is seen as one of the toughest accusations against the country.

In his statement, Mike Pompeo said, “I believe this genocide is ongoing, and that we are witnessing the systemic attempt to destroy Uighurs by the Chinese party-state.” This message, with the Trump Administration gone, leaves a large hole for the Biden Administration on what to do with the Chinese government. It is unclear at the moment what the new president plans to do. Pompeo’s announcement came just hours before the inauguration of Joseph R. Biden, sweeping the announcement under the media frenzy of the possible threat of violence at the inauguration.

CNN claims that “nearly 2 million people, mostly Muslims, have been detained in sprawling fortified camps set up across Xinjiang since 2017, where they have allegedly been subject to political indoctrination and abuse.” While U.S. and Chinese relations have been shaky for a long number of years, these accusations will not make things any better. While the evidence points towards the fact that the Chinese government is in fact committing genocide, it is difficult to determine how the Biden Administration will handle this crisis and human rights violation.

The Uighurs are Muslim-Turkish ethnics who amass nearly 11 million believers in Xinjiang. In the early 1900s, they declared independence to form their own nation but came under the control of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Since then, they have been oppressed by the authoritarian government. The largest crackdowns came following economic protests in the 1990s and in 2008, prior to the Olympic Games.

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