China Slams Pompeo Over Genocide Claims01/20 06:13
BEIJING (AP) -- China's Foreign Ministry described outgoing U.S. Secretary
of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday as a "doomsday clown" and said his
designation of China as a perpetrator of genocide and crimes against humanity
was merely "a piece of wastepaper."
The allegations of abuses against Muslim minority groups in China's Xinjiang
region are "outright sensational pseudo-propositions and a malicious farce
concocted by individual anti-China and anti-Communist forces represented by
Pompeo," spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters at a daily briefing.
"In our view, Pompeo's so-called designation is a piece of wastepaper. This
American politician, who is notorious for lying and deceiving, is turning
himself into a doomsday clown and joke of the century with his last madness and
lies of the century," Hua said.
Pompeo's announcement Tuesday doesn't require any immediate actions,
although the U.S. must take the designation into account in formulating policy
toward China. China says its policies in Xinjiang aim only to promote economic
growth and social stability.
The U.S. has previously spoken out and taken action on Xinjiang,
implementing a range of sanctions against senior Chinese Communist Party
leaders and state-run enterprises that fund repressive policies in the vast,
resource-rich region. Last week, the Trump administration announced it would
halt imports of cotton and tomatoes from Xinjiang, with Customs and Border
Protection officials saying they would block products from there suspected of
being produced with forced labor.
Many of the Chinese officials accused of having taken part in repression are
already under U.S. sanctions. The "genocide" designation means new measures
will be easier to impose.
Tuesday's move is the latest in a series of steps the outgoing Trump
administration has taken to ramp up pressure on China over issues from human
rights and the coronavirus pandemic to Taiwan, Tibet, Hong Kong and the South
China Sea. China has responded with its own sanctions and tough rhetoric.
China has imprisoned more than 1 million people, including Uighurs and other
mostly Muslim ethnic groups, in a vast network of prison-like political
indoctrination camps, according to U.S. officials and human rights groups.
People have been subjected to torture, sterilization and political
indoctrination in addition to forced labor as part of an assimilation campaign
in a region whose inhabitants are ethnically and culturally distinct from the
Han Chinese majority.
The Associated Press reported on widespread forced birth control among the
Uighurs last year, including the mass sterilization of Muslim women, even while
family planning restrictions are loosened on members of China's dominant Han
China has denied all the charges, but Uighur forced labor has been linked by
reporting by the AP to various products imported to the U.S., including
clothing and electronic goods such as cameras and computer monitors.
James Leibold, a specialist in Chinese ethnic policy at La Trobe in
Melbourne, Australia, said international pressure appears to have had some
effect on Chinese policies in Xinjiang, particularly in prompting the
government to release information about the camps and possibly reducing mass
"So hopefully we'll see a continued continuity with regards to the new (Joe
Biden) administration on holding China to account," Leibold said in an
"And hopefully the Biden administration can bring its allies along to
continue to put pressure on the Chinese government," he said.