Trump's Parting Shot: Declaring China Guilty of Genocide
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo designated the CCP's abuse of Uyghurs as genocide.
With one of his final acts as president, Donald Trump hit both the ChiComs and the incoming administration with a parting shot that will force Joe Biden into a corner.
On Tuesday, outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the U.S. had officially designated the Chinese Communist Party’s actions against the Uyghur minority group as genocide. Pompeo explained in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, “After careful deliberation, I have determined that the People’s Republic of China, under the direction and control of the Chinese Communist Party, has committed genocide and crimes against humanity against the predominantly Muslim Uighurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups, including ethnic Kazakhs and Kyrgyz. This announcement is the result of an exhaustive yearslong investigation that has spanned the globe and benefited from the efforts of government and nongovernment partners to document this nightmare, as well as the bipartisan support of Congress.”
The Journal elsewhere reports, “The genocide designation, which also applies to other minority groups in Xinjiang, doesn’t carry any automatic legal consequences, but it puts pressure on other nations, and U.S. allies in particular, to consider sanctions and take other steps to condemn Beijing’s policies.”
Beijing of course has long denied the reality that it runs concentration or reeducation camps, and the CCP blasted Pompeo’s assertion as “simply a lie” and a “farce used to discredit China.” With widespread video evidence and testimonials from victims, China’s claim that “Xinjiang-related issues are not about ethnicity, religion or human rights, but about anti-violence, anti-terrorism, anti-separatism and de-radicalization” rings hollow. Even Joe Biden’s choice for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, agreed with Pompeo, telling the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that “forcing men, women, and children into concentration camps” equates to genocide, and he committed to find ways to hold China accountable.
The trouble for Biden is that by officially designating the CCP’s actions as genocide, Trump is essentially forcing Biden’s hand. With the U.S. in recent months placing sanctions on several Chinese officials and agencies over their actions against Uyghurs, Biden will be hard-pressed to reverse course. And yet he’s also hard-pressed by his family’s corrupt dealings with the ChiComs. Rock, meet hard place.
As Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX) explained, “[Tuesday’s] designation will motivate the nations, businesses, and people of the world to reconsider the ways they entangle themselves with a brutal, communist dictatorship that is guilty of committing genocide against its own people.”
The CCP will certainly be demanding and expecting a change of policy from the Biden administration, especially given the Biden family’s business ties with Beijing. By connecting sanctions and the banning of some goods to the CCP’s genocidal abuse of Uyghurs, Trump’s move expands the U.S. fight against China out from the somewhat murky territory of a trade war to that of a clear moral issue. Now any move by Biden to ease up on the ChiComs will be viewed through more than just the lens of a trade dispute.