For several years, China has faced increased scrutiny regarding its treatment of its Turkic Uyghurs minority in the Northwestern Part of China they call Xinjiang and the Uyghurs call East Turkestan. China has never had a particularly good relationship with Uyghurs due to ethnic and ideological differences, but it has faced increasing accusations of genocidal like practices in a bid to purge Uyghurs of their separate culture and religion. Recently, the U.S. Congress commissioned a report saying that the Chinese treatment of the Uyghur people potentially constitutes genocide opening the way for further sanctions against the People’s Republic of China.
The name of the commission is Congressional-Executive Commission on China, and they said new findings lend further support to genocide allegations. According to Reuters, “The CECC report called for a formal U.S. “determination on whether atrocities are being committed” in Xinjiang, something required within 90 days of U.S. legislation passed on Dec. 27. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in his final days in office before President-elect Joe Biden succeeds President Donald Trump on Jan. 20, has already been weighing a determination. But given the current turmoil in Washington, officials have played down the possibility of an announcement before that.” Congressman Jim McGovern (Dem) condemned China’s actions against the Uyghurs and called for the incoming Biden administration to take action against China because of it.
The report came days after the United Kingdom announced its intentions to clamp down and sanction firms linked to China’s practices in Xinjiang. Despite this, the British government is still pursuing a trade deal with China. In turn, some rebels within the Conservative Party there are attempting to block it. The specific findings of genocide involved measures to restrict Uyghur women from giving birth. This came days after the Chinese embassy proudly tweeted. Their success in stopping Uyghur women from becoming “baby-making machines”: “Zenz said his findings represented the strongest evidence yet that Beijing’s Xinjiang policies met one of the criteria cited in the U.N. genocide convention, namely ‘imposing measures intended to prevent births within the (targeted) group.’ A U.S. genocide declaration would mean countries would have to think hard about allowing companies to do business with Xinjiang, a leading global supplier of cotton. It would also raise pressure for further U.S. sanctions. On Wednesday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the United States was imposing a region-wide ban on all cotton and tomato products from Xinjiang over allegations that they are made with forced labor by detained Uighurs.”
It should be noted that Muslim-majority countries have been relatively silent regarding the plight of the Uygurs despite sharing their religion.