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Blinken says genocide in Xinjiang is ongoing in report ahead of China visit

Blinken says genocide in Xinjiang is ongoing in report ahead of China visit
An Uyghur family prays at the grave of a loved one on the morning of the Corban Festival on 12 September 2016 at a local shrine and cemetery in Turpan County in the far western Xinjiang province, China. (Photo: Kevin Frayer / Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, April 22 (Reuters) - Beijing is continuing to commit genocide and crimes against humanity against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in its western Xinjiang province, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a report published on Monday, ahead of his planned visit to China this week.

By Simon Lewis

The State Department’s annual human rights report, which documents abuses recorded all over the world during the previous calendar year, repeated language from previous years on the treatment of Muslims in Xinjiang, but the publication raises the issue ahead of delicate talks, including on the war in Ukraine and global trade, between the top U.S. diplomat and Chinese counterparts.

In a preface, Blinken said the report “documents ongoing grave human rights abuses in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).”

“For example, in Xinjiang, the PRC continues to carry out genocide, crimes against humanity, forced labor, and other human rights violations against predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups,” Blinken said in the preface.

The section of Monday’s report on China details the detention of more than one million people in camps and prisons and the use of re-education camps in Xinjiang, among other abuses committed against the broader Chinese population.

China has vigorously denied abuses in Xinjiang and says it established “vocational training centers” to curb terrorism, separatism and religious radicalism.

Blinken when he took office in 2021 endorsed a determination by his predecessor that China’s actions amounted to genocide, and he has raised the issue in meetings with Chinese officials.

The annual human rights report has in recent years echoed that position and said the genocide is ongoing, but Xinjiang has featured less prominently in direct contacts between U.S. and Chinese officials.

A senior State Department official briefing reporters on Friday on Blinken’s trip said human rights would be among the issues raised by Blinken with Chinese officials, but did not mention the situation in Xinjiang.

(Reporting by Simon Lewis; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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  • mike van wyk says:

    Which highlights the hypocrisy – as the so-called ‘free world’ merrily trades and conducts business with China despite know injustices perpetuate by the PRC government against its minorities. Profits over morals.

  • Fuad XXX says:

    The shear hypocrisy & thick skin of Blinken – absolutely no morals whatsoever

    • Enver Klein says:

      You don’t see China carpet bombing or “mowing the lawn” yet he calls that genocide. But he refuses to admit the real genocide where carpet bombing and “mowing the lawn” is taking place.

  • Beyond Fedup says:

    How pathetic, hypocritical and biased these contributions are! Really mentally-challenged in seeing the wood for the trees. It is typically a mindless and foolish kneejerk reaction that has anything to do with the US or the West. The US and the West are THE only ones highlighting and condemning the Chinese government for their murderous and vicious treatment of the Uyghurs. I have yet to hear/see a Muslim country condemning it lest it upsets the Chinese or even the Putin’s Russia. Where is Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Hamas, Turkey etc. on this issue? The silence is deafening!! These very same commentators are Muslim and yet they are also silent on the treatment of their brethren. Shameful!

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