The United States officially declared China is committing “genocide” against the Uyghur population, a Muslim ethnic minority.
America is the first country in the world to make such a declaration.
“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.
According to the State Department, as many as two million Uyghurs are being held against their will in forced labor camps.
Pompeo said local authorities have “dramatically escalated” a decades-long campaign of repression against Uyghur Muslims since at least March 2017.
Forced sterilizations and abortions on Uyghur women, coercion to make them marry non-Uyghurs and separated Uyghur children from their families have also been reported.
United States border officials seized a shipment containing 13 tons of human hair in July of 2020. The hair is suspected to have been removed from Uyghur women being held in the camps.
A Twitter post by China’s United States embassy claimed Uyghur women had been “emancipated” and were no longer “baby-making machines.”
Twitter deleted the tweet after days of complaints.