The Chinese Communist Party's "crimes against humanity" against the Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities have been the "crime of the century" and the State Department's declaration that genocide is being committed is a move to convince the Chinese government to cease its actions, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday.
"We've been working on this for a long time in the Trump administration," Pompeo said on Fox News' "America's Report." "We sanctioned officials. We have told businesses they couldn't bring products out of those regions ... this is forced labor, forced sterilizations, forced abortions, the kinds of thing we haven't seen in a long time in this world, crimes against humanity and genocide."
Before the interview, Pompeo in a statement accused the Chinese ruling Communist Party of committing “crimes against Muslims and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang as far back as March 2017, reports Politico.
The declaration, coming on the last full day of the outgoing Trump administration, comes as a culmination of the pressure that has been put on China's communists over its internment of the Muslim minorities in work and reeducation camps.
The House has also passed a bill to ban any imports from Xinjiang unless companies can prove that forced labor had not been used to produce products, but the bill has stalled in the GOP-controlled Senate.
Pompeo Tuesday defended the eleventh-hour nature of the announcement, saying that it was a "serious matter" that was not taken lightly and that as it was a bipartisan analysis, "we want to continue to work."
"There were vigorous discussions across the United States government," said Pompeo. "We relied on facts that came from nongovernmental entities, journalists, to make sure we had everything right. We wouldn't have done this if we didn't think this determination that I issued today was proper, appropriate, and would hopefully lead to better lives for people in this region."
He added that he is "counting on" the Biden administration to be able to handle the threat China continues to pose to the United States.
"The threat from the Chinese party is real," he said. "I have great confidence that the American people have come to understand this challenge from the Chinese Communist Party."
Meanwhile, he said he hopes his probable successor Antony Blinken will not launch an "apology tour" after the Biden administration takes office.
"I'm proud of this country," he said. "This is the most exceptional nation in the history of civilization. I'm proud of the work the Trump administration has done in the Middle East, China. We made life better for people all across the world ... let's not be an America we should apologize for. We should be proud of the greatness, uniqueness, and exceptionalism of the United States of America."
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