FACTS

    China announced that they will deny entrance to four US government officials – Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Chris Smith, and ambassador for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback – due to their criticism over China’s treatment of religious groups and other minorities. The US issued sanctions on Thursday against certain Chinese officials due to the Muslim internment camps in the Xinjiang province. The camps, which have been compared to prisons, hold millions of Chinese Uighur Muslims and are said to engage “in ethnic cleansing” by forcing abortions and sterilization. China’s sanctions came in retaliation to the US sanctions in an effort to “uphold its national sovereignty against what it sees as interference in its internal affairs.”

    CRITICISM OF CHINA

    Both Left and Right criticize China over the Xinjiang region’s “re-education camps.” Vice News recently released a film on “The Most Dystopian Place in the World,” a documentary set in the region where the Uighur people live under “constant surveillance and brutal policing.” One man interviewed said, “They call them ‘vocation centers.’ These places are prisons.” Vice correspondent Isobel Yeung stated, “This is the strictest surveillance state in the world right now…This is absolute Orwellian style surveillance.”

    “It’s genocide, full stop. It’s not immediate, shocking, mass-killing on the spot type genocide, but it’s slow, painful, creeping genocide.” 

    Joanne Smith Finley, Uighur expert at the Newcastle University in the U.K.

    A group of 22 members of the United Nations, including Japan, France, and the United Kingdom, joined together in 2019 to condemn the internment camps and call on China to stop their treatment of minorities in the region.

    SUPPORT OF CHINA

    In 2019, a group of 50 nations, including Russia, Iran, North Korea, and Nigeria, released a joint statement in support of China’s camps. The country of Belarus stated that since opening the camps, the region has had a “stronger sense of happiness” and seen no terrorist attacks.

    “Faced with the grave challenge of terrorism and extremism, China has undertaken a series of counter-terrorism and deradicalization measures in Xinjiang, including setting up vocational education and training centers.”

    Statement by Belarus
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