China has possibly committed “genocide” in its treatment of Uygurs and other minority Muslims in its western region of Xinjiang, a bipartisan commission of the US Congress said in a report released this week.
The Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) said new evidence had emerged in the past year that “crimes against humanity – and possibly genocide – are occurring”. The CECC also accused China of harassing Uygurs in the United States.
China has been widely condemned for setting up complexes in Xinjiang that it describes as “vocational training centres” to stamp out extremism and give people new skills and which others have called concentration camps.
The United Nations says at least 1 million Uygurs and other Muslims have been detained in Xinjiang. Faith leaders, activist groups and others have said crimes against humanity, including genocide, are taking place there.
Beijing denies the accusations and its Washington embassy said the CECC was “obsessed with making up all sorts of lies to vilify China”.
“The so-called ‘genocide’ is a rumour deliberately started by some anti-China forces and a farce to discredit China,” an embassy spokesperson said.
The CECC report called for a formal US “determination on whether atrocities are being committed” in Xinjiang, and such a determination is required within 90 days of US legislation passed on December 27.
Experts say a genocide determination would be an enormous embarrassment for China, the world’s second-largest economy and a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
(South China Morning Post)