The US said Tuesday it has not changed its judgment that there is a "genocide" against Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in China's northwestern Xinjiang autonomous region.
"We are unaware that these atrocities have ceased," said State Department Spokesperson Ned Price at a press briefing.
He recalled that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and incumbent Secretary Antony Blinken arrived at the judgment that "genocide" has taken place in Xinjiang.
"We absolutely stand by that," said Price.
When asked if the "genocide" is ongoing in Xinjiang, Prices responded: "We have seen nothing that would change our assessment."
On Jan. 19, Pompeo said China committed genocide and crimes against humanity in its treatment of Uyghurs and ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.
"I believe this genocide is ongoing, and that we are witnessing the systematic attempt to destroy Uyghurs by the Chinese party-state," he said at the time.
The Xinjiang region is home to around 10 million Uighurs. The Turkic Muslim group, which makes up around 45% of Xinjiang’s population, has long accused China's authorities of cultural, religious and economic discrimination.
Up to 1 million people, or about 7% of the Muslim population in Xinjiang, have been incarcerated in an expanding network of "political re-education" camps, according to US officials and UN experts.A 2018 Human Rights Watch report detailed a Chinese government campaign of "mass arbitrary detention, torture, forced political indoctrination, and mass surveillance of Xinjiang's Muslims."
China, however, has repeatedly denied allegations that it is operating detention camps in its northwestern autonomous region, claiming instead that they are "re-educating" Uighurs. Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.