White House condemns Uighur ‘concentration camps’ in escalation of rhetoric against China

The below article was published by the Washington Examiner, Photo credit:Wikipedia

The White House on Friday condemned China’s internment centers, in which the communist regime has imprisoned more than 1 million Uighur Muslims, as “concentration camps.”

“There is no credible justification I can find in Chinese philosophy, religion, or moral law for the concentration camps inside your borders,” said Matt Pottinger, Trump’s deputy national security adviser, who has been guiding the administration’s policy toward China, in a speech at a British think tank. The speech, which Pottinger delivered in Mandarin, was directed at Chinese leaders.

The remarks came as the Trump administration ramped up its rhetoric toward China. Last week, national security adviser Robert O’Brien said that “if not a genocide, something close to it [is] going on in Xinjiang,” the province where the majority of China’s Uighur population lives.

The language of genocide, which many Republicans and Democrats in Congress have used for the past several years in describing the situation in Xinjiang, has made its way slowly to the White House. Trump in June signed the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, as he faced criticism for reportedly telling Chinese President Xi Jinping that building the internment centers was “the right thing to do.”

Trump denied the accusations, leveled by former national security adviser John Bolton, and instead said that he held off on bringing up the subject because of his efforts to secure a trade deal.

The Trump administration, however, has taken active steps to condemn the Chinese government’s treatment of Uighurs. Most recently, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged the Vatican to take a “bold” stance against China and not renew a 2018 diplomatic deal. The Vatican renewed the deal, but not before Pompeo made the case that they reject it based in part on China’s treatment of Uighurs, as well as other religious minorities.