The new Secretary of State destroyed CCP’s hopes that the U.S. position will change. Meanwhile, misguided Western media criticized Pompeo for what he got right.
by Marco Respinti
Blinken’s confirmation hearings
During his Senate confirmation hearing, President Joe Biden’s nominee for Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken, said he was in “no doubt” that the most significant challenge to the U.S. comes from China, and that a firm policy standing up to Beijing will have “a bipartisan foundation.”
Blinken was explicitly asked whether he agreed with Secretary Mike Pompeo’s statement that what China is perpetrating in Xinjiang is a genocide. “That would be my judgment as well,” he replied.
“I think we’re very much in agreement,” Blinken said. “The forcing of men, women and children into concentration camps; trying to, in effect, re-educate them to be adherents to the ideology of the Chinese Communist Party, all of that speaks to an effort to commit genocide.”
Blinken assured the senators that these will not remain idle words. “I think we should be looking at making sure that we are not importing products that are made with forced labor from Xinjiang, he said. We need to make sure that we are also not exporting technologies and tools that could be used to further their repression. That’s one place to start.”
Blinken referred to the January 19 document where outgoing Secretary of State Pompeo used the word “genocide” to describe and indict the Chinese Communist regime policy toward Uyghurs and other Turkic people in Xinjiang, the region they prefer to call East Turkestan.
CCP hopes destroyed
The CCP has consistently answered US claims that a genocide is taking place in Xinjiang by depicting them as the fruit of a personal obsession of Secretary Pompeo, misled by anti-Chinese Western scholars and media (perhaps including Bitter Winter).
The CCP labeled Secretary Pompeo a person “notorious for lying and deceiving” and his statement “his last-minute madness and lies of the century” through an official response given by Ms. Hua Chunying, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman.
The CCP also expressed warm hopes that the new Biden administration will not pursue Pompeo’s policy of denouncing the repression in Xinjiang as genocide. Based on Blinken’s statement in the Senate, the CCP seems to be sadly deluded.
Western critics: but what did Pompeo exactly say?
Meanwhile, the CCP found some fellow travelers in the West, which regarded the use of the word genocide as excessive, and speculated that the former Secretary of State was trying to embarrass the incoming Biden administration.
But what did Pompeo exactly say? Each administration has its own rhetoric, and Trump’s was obviously different from Biden’s, but Pompeo built a convincing case for the use of the “G” word.
“From the Nuremberg Trials, to the creation of the Genocide Convention in 1948, to the declaration of ISIS’s recent genocide against the Yazidis, Christians, and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria,” Mr. Pompeo wrote, “Americans have given voice to those who have been silenced by evil, and stood with the living who cry out for truth, the rule of law, and justice. We do so not because we are compelled to act by any international court, multilateral body, or domestic political concern. We do so because it is right.”
He continued: “For the past four years, this Administration has exposed the nature of the Chinese Communist Party and called it what it is: a Marxist-Leninist regime that exerts power over the long-suffering Chinese people through brainwashing and brute force. We have paid particular attention to the CCP’s treatment of the Uyghur people, a Muslim minority group that resides largely in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in Western China. 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.”
Quoting, “[o]ur exhaustive documentation of the PRC’s actions in Xinjiang”, the former Secretary of state confirmed “that since at least March 2017, local authorities dramatically escalated their decades-long campaign of repression against Uyghur Muslims and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups, including ethnic Kazakhs and ethnic Kyrgyz. Their morally repugnant, wholesale policies, practices, and abuses are designed systematically to discriminate against and surveil ethnic Uyghurs as a unique demographic and ethnic group, restrict their freedom to travel, emigrate, and attend schools, and deny other basic human rights of assembly, speech, and worship. PRC authorities have conducted forced sterilizations and abortions on Uyghur women, coerced them to marry non-Uyghurs, and separated Uyghur children from their families.”
Accusing “[p]arty apparatchiks” to “have denied international observers unhindered access to Xinjiang and denounced reliable reports about the worsening situation on the ground,” Mr. Pompeo states that the Chinese regime delivers “far darker messages to their own people, portraying Uyghurs as ‘malignant tumors,’ comparing their faith to a ‘communicable plague,’ and exhorting the [Chinese Communist] Party faithful to implement a crushing blow, telling them ‘you can’t uproot all the weeds hidden among the crops in the field one-by-one; you need to spray chemicals to kill them all.’”
Pompeo then made these determinations: “After careful examination of the available facts, I have determined that since at least March 2017, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), under the direction and control of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), has committed crimes against humanity against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other members of ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang. These crimes are ongoing and include: the arbitrary imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty of more than one million civilians, forced sterilization, torture of a large number of those arbitrarily detained, forced labor, and the imposition of draconian restrictions on freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, and freedom of movement. The Nuremberg Tribunals at the end of World War II prosecuted perpetrators for crimes against humanity, the same crimes being perpetrated in Xinjiang.”
In addition, “after careful examination of the available facts, I have determined that the PRC, under the direction and control of the CCP, has committed genocide against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang. I believe this genocide is ongoing, and that we are witnessing the systematic attempt to destroy Uyghurs by the Chinese party-state. The governing authorities of the second most economically, militarily, and politically powerful country on earth have made clear that they are engaged in the forced assimilation and eventual erasure of a vulnerable ethnic and religious minority group, even as they simultaneously assert their country as a global leader and attempt to remold the international system in their image.”
He then called “upon the PRC immediately to release all arbitrarily detained persons and abolish its system of internment, detention camps, house arrest and forced labor; cease coercive population control measures, including forced sterilizations, forced abortion, forced birth control, and the removal of children from their families; end all torture and abuse in places of detention; end the persecution of Uyghurs and other members of religious and ethnic minority groups in Xinjiang and elsewhere in China, and afford Uyghurs and other persecuted minorities the freedom to travel and emigrate.” And finally, he also called “on all appropriate multilateral and relevant juridical bodies, to join the United States in our effort to promote accountability for those responsible for these atrocities.”
Is the CCP “Marxist-Leninist”?
This strong farewell message, using plainly and openly the forbidden “G” word had a strong symbolic meaning. Pompeo’s implication in using the word “genocide” was in fact intentional. It stands as the heritage of the US foreign policy of the outgone administration, and it is handed over to the incoming. Having chosen to bid its political foreign policy farewell calling the CCP regime internationally accountable for the worse crime against humanity that a government and a state can commit was a clear choice, going far beyond the limits, scope, and intentions of a single administration or even a single country.
Curiously, there were media, particularly in Europe, that criticized Pompeo for calling Beijing’s “a Marxist-Leninist regime,” and saw in this a typical example of his right-wing and Cold War rhetoric. Interestingly, this is one point of Pompeo’s document that the CCP did not criticize. Every two months or so, President Xi Jinping publishes a new book. These volumes are repetitious, and one of the concepts they keep repeating is precisely that the CCP’s is “a Marxist-Leninist regime.” In one of his last books, “On the Party’s Propaganda and Ideological Work,” Xi wrote that China takes “Marxism as the guide,” and “the whole CCP must strengthen the study and application of Marxist philosophy, strive to use Marxist philosophy as a housekeeping skill, and improve the ability to use Marxist positions, viewpoints, and methods.”
The reaction to Pompeo’s statement by some European journalists confirms that the delusion leading many to believe that the CCP is “no longer Marxist,” denounced by French Sinologist Alice Ekman in her seminal book “Rouge Vif,” is unfortunately still at work. Actually, given Xi Jinping’s continuous insistence on the murderous theories of Chairman Mao and Stalin as well, Pompeo could have called the CCP’s “a Marxist-Leninist, Maoist-Stalinist regime.”
On the other hand, suffering Uyghurs and other Turkic people can today rightly rejoice for a great message to humanity and posterity. Political administrations come and go, but defining persecution of people in Xinjiang by the legally precise word “genocide” remains as a seminal precedent and a blueprint for future policy.