How the United States Can Address China's Uyghur Genocide

The Xinjiang region in northwest China is the location of the most totalitarian crackdown on a religious group in the world today. The Chinese government has herded over one million Uyghurs and other ethnic Turkic Muslims into what they call "vocational education training centers." In reality, these centers operate as extrajudicial detention facilities where detainees are subjected to brainwashing and other forms of torture, including rape. Outside the camps, the entire region is closely surveilled by the Chinese government. Detainees "released" from the camps are funneled to factories where they are utilized as forced labor.

According to open-source government documents and first-hand accounts of survivors of China's "re-education" camps, the Chinese government is forcibly sterilizing Uyghur women and coercively aborting their unborn children in order to eliminate the Uyghur people.

After the horrors of the Holocaust, the countries of the United Nations affirmed the need to prevent genocide and punish perpetrators by adopting the Genocide Convention. The United States has ratified this Convention and must do its utmost to live up to the commitment. Now that the United States has determined Beijing's actions in Xinjiang to be a genocide, meaningful action must be taken. To do anything less would weaken the gravity of genocide in international law and send the message to the Chinese government that they can unleash whatever abuses they wish against their own people without consequences. The response of Congress and the Biden administration should include a range of actions intended to confront Beijing's heinous violations of religious freedom and human rights.

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