The U.S. State Department is considering formally accusing China's actions toward its Uighur Muslim minority – including involuntary abortions and sterilizations, forced labor and incarceration in work camps called "vocational training schools" – a genocide, Politico reported citing unidentified sources.
Politico quoted two anonymous Trump administration officials as saying internal discussions are in their early stages and involve working level officials, the National Security Council and the Department of Homeland Security.
Other considerations include accusing China of "crimes against humanity" or "ethnic cleansing."
China has declared the Uighurs, a minority group of roughly 12 million centered in China's northwest autonomous region of Xinjiang, a security threat following a growing separatist movement that has included several violent incidents such as car bombings, stabbings, and shootings over the past two decades.
The communist government has been accused of mass detentions of Uighurs in concentration camps and forcing themto have abortions in an attempt to slash birth rates among the minority, The Associated Press reported in June.
The State Department has condemned the Chinese government and also its practice of forced sterilizations.
In July, The New York Times reported Uighurs were being forced to make facial masks that were exported and sold overseas amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Politico said a declaration of genocide would be a substantive step due to the argument that it could compel the United States into some sort of intervention, although not necessarily military involvement.
The publication said the State Department would not confirm nor deny the report of the genocide discussions.
"We are working hard to encourage the People's Republic of China to cease its human rights abuses in Xinjiang and are constantly evaluating various measures," it quoted a spokesperson as saying. "We do not comment on potential actions."
The DHS declined comment, and while NSC spokesman John Ullyot also did not address the genocide consideration, he condemned China for its actions in relation to the Uighurs.
"The Chinese Communist Party's atrocities also include the largest incarceration of an ethnic minority since World War II," he said. "Where the previous administration and many other world leaders delivered speeches and empty rhetoric, President Trump has taken bold action."
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.