Report Finds Chinese Government Responsible for Uyghur Genocide

By Matthew McMullan
Mar 09 2021 |
Ürümqi, the capital of China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Getty Images

Not just complicit, but responsible.

A report issued today by an American think tank concludes that the Chinese government is responsible for a campaign of genocide against the Uyghur ethnic population in China’s Xinjiang region.

Documented examples have been piling up for years that detail the dehumanization and mass detention of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in the northwest of the country, and the details are stomach-churning. What makes the report from the Newlines Institute different, however, is its aforementioned conclusion: The Chinese government, a signatory to the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, is behind this campaign. It isn’t complicit to an atrocity happening in a territory it governs; rather, it’s actively responsible.

From the report:

The persons and entities perpetrating these acts of genocide are all State organs or agents under Chinese law, acting in their official capacities, or under the effective control of the State. The nature of these interconnected and composite acts inescapably demonstrates the clear, effective, and firm control of the State, which cannot reasonably be attributed to others beyond the effective control of the State, to accident, or to chance.

It’s also worth mentioning that this isn’t the Trump administration’s State Department calling it a genocide, but a non-governmental organization that lays out, in legalese, how China is in breach of “each and every act” of the genocide convention. And there are a lot of footnotes.

The entire report is here, and its contents are hard to read. But it won’t be ignored, and Congress should consider it while it mulls banning all imports that can be traced to Xinjiang unless they are proven to not have been made by forced labor.

It should certainly fully debate that ban, draw attention to the genocide in action, and consider the fact that so many supply chains for the products hawked by major American brands reach directly into a territory where the authorities are forcing ethnic minorities to pick cotton.