A recently released trove of documents reportedly links top Chinese leaders — including President Xi Jinping — to the persecution of Uyghur Muslims in the communist country.
The papers showed Xi ordered the implementation of the crackdown in the Xinjiang Province in “top secret” speeches delivered in the 2010s, according to the BBC.
While some of the documents were shared with The New York Times in 2019, this latest cache was not previously available to the public. The new papers were given to the Uyghur Tribunal, an independent people’s tribunal in the U.K., in September. At that point, the body asked three academics — Drs. Adrian Zenz, David Tobin, and James Millward — to authenticate the findings.
Zenz, a senior fellow with Victims of Communism, shared details about the documents on his Twitter account, writing, “The first-ever leak of ‘top secret’ remarks by a Chinese head of state shows how Beijing is behind nearly every aspect of the atrocities in Xinjiang.”
Zenz asserted the links between statements made by government officials and subsequent policies implemented against the Uyghurs were “far more extensive, detailed, and significant than previously understood.”
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom issued a statement in June 2020 saying the Chinese government’s “repressive population control measures against Uyghur and other Muslims — including forced sterilization — might meet the legal criteria for genocide under international law.”
An Associated Press investigation published one day before the USCIR statement was released concluded China is guilty of “demographic genocide” through forced abortions and sterilizations.
And shortly before leaving office in January of this year, former President Donald Trump’s administration declared genocide is, in fact, taking place in China. President Joe Biden’s administration has left the previous declaration in place, although Trump’s White House was much more bullish against the communist country (special presidential envoy for climate John Kerry, for example, has said the possibility of genocide should not impact cooperation on climate change because “life is always full of tough choices”).
One estimate claims as many as two million Uyghurs are currently being held in so-called “re-education camps” by the Chinese government. An independent analysis reported on by CNN found Xi’s regime “bears state responsibility for an ongoing genocide against the Uyghur in breach of the [United Nations] Genocide Convention.”
“China’s policies and practices targeting Uyghurs in the region must be viewed in their totality, which amounts to an intent to destroy the Uyghurs as a group, in whole or in part,” the report states.
News of the leaked documents comes several weeks after NBA player Enes Kanter condemned Nike for profiting off “modern day slavery” in China, referring to the mass detainment of Uyghurs in labor camps.
“Nike remains vocal about injustice here in America, but, when it comes to China, Nike remains silent,” he said. “You do not address policy brutality in China. You do not say a word about the oppression of minorities in China. You are scared to speak up.”
Read more about Kanter’s comments here.
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