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Pompeo says China's treatment of Muslim minorities constitutes a 'genocide'

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Posted at 2:00 PM, Jan 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — On his way out the door, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has lashed out anew at China by declaring that its policies on Muslims and ethnic minorities in western Xinjiang region, also known as the Uighurs, constitute a "genocide."

"While the CCP has always exhibited a profound hostility to all people of faith, we have watched with growing alarm the Party’s increasingly repressive treatment of the Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups," Pompeo said in a press statement on Tuesday.

Pompeo made the determination just 24 hours before President-elect Joe Biden takes office. There was no immediate response from the incoming Biden team although several members have been sympathetic to such a designation in the past.

Pompeo's determination does not come with any immediate repercussions, although it means the U.S. must take the designation into account in formulating policy toward China.

China says its policies in Xinjiang aim only to promote economic and social development in the region.