The U.S. national security adviser Robert O’Brien on Friday said that China was performing ‘something close to’ a genocide with its treatment of Muslims in its Xinjiang region.
Highlighting other Chinese crackdowns including one on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, O’Brien said, “If not genocide, something close to it is going on in Xinjiang.” The online event was hosted by the Aspen Institute in Washington. He made the comments while speaking at an online event hosted by the Aspen Institute of Washington.
The United States has criticized China’s treatment of Uighur and other minority Muslims in the Xinjiang area and imposed sanctions on officials it blames for abuses. It has not, though, so far termed Beijing’s actions genocide, a designation that would have significant legal implications and require stronger action against China.
According to the United Nations, over a million Muslims have been detained in Xinjiang and activists say crimes against humanity and genocide are taking place there. But, China has denied any abuses and says its camps in the region provide vocational training and help fight extremism.
Referring to certain seizures by US customs of “massive numbers” of hair products made with human hair from Xinjiang, O’Brien said,” The Chinese are literally shaving the heads of Uighur women and making hair products and sending them to the United States.”
Earlier in June, the US Customs and Border Protection said that it had detained a shipment originating in Xinjiang of hair products and accessories suspected of being forced-labor products made with human hair.