Home News US senators hold China accountable for ‘genocide’ against Uyghurs

US senators hold China accountable for ‘genocide’ against Uyghurs

US senators introduced a bipartisan resolution this week that seeks to declare the Chinese government’s actions against the Uyghur people as a genocide.

The resolution states that China’s campaign “against Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and members of other Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region constitutes genocide.”

“This resolution recognizes these crimes for what they are and is the first step toward holding China accountable for their monstrous actions,” said Senator John Cornyn, a Republican.

The resolution is, however, unlikely to move immediately as the US Congress will only hold its next session after next week’s elections.

The resolution calls for accountability from China under the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

“Congress cannot — and must not — turn a blind eye to China’s shocking, systematic abuse of its Uyghur population,” said Senator Ben Cardin, a Democrat.

Cornyn said the resolution is “the first step toward holding China accountable for their monstrous actions.”

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“For far too long, the Chinese government has carried out a despicable campaign of genocide against millions of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims,” he added.

Beijing has faced accusations of mass human rights abuses in Xinjiang, including the destruction of mosques in an attempt to forcibly integrate the community and root out its Islamic heritage.

A report in September by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute noted that thousands of mosques in Xinjiang have been damaged or destroyed in just three years.

Rights groups and researchers have also claimed that more than a million Uyghurs and Turkic Muslims have been held in detention camps in Xinjiang.

Beijing has denied the reported camps, saying these are vocational centers that teach skills to prevent the allure of Islamic radicalism.

In July, the US blacklisted Xinjiang region’s Communist Party Secretary Chen Quanguo, a member of China’s powerful Politburo, and three other officials over human rights abuses against the Uyghur Muslim minority.

Under the Global Magnitsky Act, the US government can sanction human rights violations worldwide by freezing any US assets, banning US travel and prohibiting Americans from doing business with them.

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