Trump administration mulls formally accusing China of Uighur ‘genocide’: report
The Trump administration is considering officially classifying the treatment of China’s Uighur Muslim minority by the Chinese government as a genocide, two administration officials told Politico.
In a report published Tuesday, two unnamed sources told the news service that working-level discussions were taking place between the State Department, National Security Council (NSC) and Department of Homeland Security about whether to move forward with the classification, which would have serious effects on U.S.-China relations.
A spokesperson for the NSC declined to confirm or deny that the discussions were taking place when reached for comment by The Hill on Tuesday, but added that the Trump administration was deeply concerned with China’s reported suppression of its Muslim minority in the Xinjiang province.
“Beijing’s atrocities against the Uyghurs include horrific acts against women including forced abortion, forced sterilization and other coercive birth control methods, state-sponsored forced labor, sexual violence including through rape in detention, compulsory home-stays by Han officials, and forced marriages,” said John Ullyot, an NSC spokesman.
“The Chinese Communist Party’s atrocities also include the largest incarceration of an ethnic minority since World War II,” he continued. “Where the previous Administration and many other world leaders delivered speeches and empty rhetoric, President Trump has taken bold action.”
The sources also told Politico that the administration could use other terms to describe internment camps housing Uighur Muslims should officials not agree to classify it as a genocide, including calling it a “crime against humanity” or an act of “ethnic cleansing.”
A spokesperson for the State Department refused to confirm or deny the discussions in a statement to Politico.
“We are working hard to encourage the People’s Republic of China to cease its human rights abuses in Xinjiang and are constantly evaluating various measures,” the spokesperson said. “We do not comment on potential actions.”
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