China ‘Continues to Commit Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity’: Blinken

China ‘Continues to Commit Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity’: Blinken
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks on human rights at the State Department on April 12, 2022 in Washington. Secretary Blinken delivered remarks to the press on the release of the 2021 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Andrew Thornebrooke

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on April 12 of carrying out genocide and crimes against humanity throughout 2021.

“The Chinese government continues to commit genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, against predominately Muslim Uyghurs, among other minority groups,” Blinken said.

Blinken delivered the remarks at a briefing to mark the release of the newest edition of the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, an annual report published by the State Department that covers human rights issues in 198 countries throughout the world.

Blinken said the world was facing a “recession of democracy” and called out the CCP’s mass campaign of repression and genocide as a key example of growing authoritarianism.

Likewise, the report described the regime as an “authoritarian state” and said that ethnic and religious minorities of all kinds continued to be persecuted in mainland China and the regime’s occupied territories.

“Genocide and crimes against humanity occurred during the year against predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang,” the report said.

“These crimes were continuing and included: the arbitrary imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty of more than one million civilians; forced sterilization, coerced abortions, and more restrictive application of the country’s birth control policies; rape; torture of a large number of those arbitrarily detained; forced labor; and draconian restrictions on freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, and freedom of movement.”

Notably, the report found that the CCP’s targeting of political opponents and religious minorities extended well beyond the borders of China, and included a transnational effort to pressure foreign governments into sending back to China individuals who have fled.

Specifically, the report said the regime was abusing Interpol’s red notice system, used to issue international arrest warrants, by sending bogus charges to international police in the hope of having nations forcibly repatriate political opponents back to China where they can be imprisoned.

The report also cited a separate 2021 Amnesty International study that found that the CCP likely executed thousands of individuals in 2020 alone. It said the regime was systematically engaged in arbitrary detentions, forced disappearances, and killings.

“Numerous former prisoners and detainees reported they were beaten, raped, subjected to electric shock, forced to sit on stools for hours on end, hung by the wrists, deprived of sleep, force-fed, forced to take medication against their will, and otherwise subjected to physical and psychological abuse,” the report said.

“Although prison authorities abused ordinary prisoners, they reportedly singled out political and religious dissidents for particularly harsh treatment.”

Among the most targeted groups, the report found, were practitioners of Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, a meditation practice rooted in the moral principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance.

The discipline grew in popularity in the 1990s, resulting in estimates of up to 100 million people practicing. But the communist regime, deeming this to be a threat, launched an expansive persecution campaign against Falun Gong adherents in 1999, which still continues today.

The report said that religious groups, and “particularly Falun Gong practitioners,” have been hunted down by the CCP and frequently detained without stated cause and tortured.

The report listed several specific cases, including that of Ren Haifei, a Falun Gong practitioner who has been held without trial and without charges since 2020.

“Ren was arrested without a warrant, hospitalized for severe injuries suffered after his initial arrest, and remanded to the Dalian Yaojia detention center after release from the hospital where he has remained,” the report said.

Ren’s wife, Wang Jing, who lives in the United States, previously told The Epoch Times that she only found out about her husband’s baseless arrest through, a website that tracks such cases. She contacted the judge in charge of her husband’s case, Jin Hua, to petition for her husband’s release. Upon hearing her plea, Jin threatened to arrest her, too.

“Do what you want,” Jin told Wang. “Come back to China, I’ll put you in jail, too.”

The State Department’s report noted that Ren was previously incarcerated by the CCP from 2001 to 2008 for participating in peaceful protests and practicing Falun Gong.

The report also found that the CCP revoked law licenses from attorneys who criticized the CCP online or defended Falun Gong practitioners and dissidents.

In all, the report found that “creeping authoritarianism” was creating a world where “human rights and democracy are under threat” and “where governments have unjustly jailed, tortured, or even killed political opponents, activists, human rights defenders, or journalists.”

“The United States will continue to support those around the world struggling for human dignity and liberty,” according to a related State Department statement.

Andrew Thornebrooke is a national security correspondent for The Epoch Times covering China-related issues with a focus on defense, military affairs, and national security. He holds a master's in military history from Norwich University.