China’s treatment of its Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities puts it “in a league of its own when it comes to human rights violations,” top U.S. diplomat Mike Pompeo said Wednesday as the U.S. State Department issued its global survey of rights conditions.
U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo noted that the annual report highlighted abuses in Iran, South Sudan, Nicaragua and many other nations, including some U.S. allies.
“But then there’s China, which is in a league of its own when it comes to human rights violations,” he said.
“In just 2018, China intensified its campaign of detaining Muslim minority groups at record levels. Today, more than 1 million Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and other Muslims are interned in reeducation camps designed to erase their religious and ethnic identities,” added Pompeo.
A second U.S. official briefing reporters on the “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices,” which covers 2018, had even sharper words for China’s policies in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).
“For me, you haven’t seen things like this since the 1930s,” said Michael Kozak, the head of the State Department’s human rights and democracy bureau, in an apparent reference to the policies of Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union.
“Rounding up, in some estimations … in the millions of people, putting them into camps, and torturing them, abusing them, and trying to basically erase their culture and their religion and so on from their DNA. It’s just remarkably awful.”
“It is one of the most serious human rights violations in the world today,” he said.