GOP Leaders Press To Hold Beijing Accountable

Republican members of the House Armed Services Committee are pressing the State Department to formally designate China’s suppression of its Uighur minority population as a genocide, according to a copy of the congressional communication obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Reps. Jim Banks (R., Ind.) and Joe Wilson (R., S.C.) say that mounting evidence indicates the Chinese government is committing genocide by forcing the country’s Uighur Muslim minority into concentration camps and using them as slave labor. The State Department is currently examining whether to classify China’s actions as genocide.

“The CCP has engaged in a systematic and widespread campaign of violence, torture, detention, forced sterilization, and enslavement of the Uighur Muslim people in [China’s Xinjiang province],” the lawmakers wrote, according to a copy of the letter sent Wednesday to the State Department. “Its actions reflect an intent to destroy, whether in whole or in part, this population.”

With its final days in office, the Trump administration could escalate tensions with Beijing by labeling its treatment of the Uighurs as genocide, a label that is rarely applied to global human rights situations and could compel U.S. intervention. Activist groups and lawmakers from both parties have pressed the outgoing administration to move forward with the designation for months, citing evidence that China is forcing the vulnerable population into work camps and worse, including reports of torture and forced abortions. Incoming president Joe Biden described the genocidal situation while on the campaign trail and could instruct his State Department to pick up the deliberations if President Donald Trump’s team fails to act.

Continue reading at The Washington Free Beacon.