On Tuesday, the nineteenth of January, as the final credits of the Trump Administration began to overtake the screen, and the President busied himself with a lengthy list of pardons and a Farewell Address with which to formalize his pending departure, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a startling proclamation.
In a release delivered from the State Department, that appendage of the Executive Branch over which he so diligently presided, Pompeo stated that “the People’s Republic of China, under the direction and control of the Chinese Communist Party, has committed crimes against humanity against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjinag”. He continued to say, with neither the reticence nor the doubt by which so grave a statement can often be spoiled, that “we are witnessing the systematic attempt to destroy Uyghurs by the Chinese party-state”.
Among the methods of that “systematic attempt” of which the Chinese Communist Party is now officially accused, is the arbitrary imprisonment of over one million people, an immense number upon whom, according to testimony, every type of modern torture has been inflicted; the forced sterilization of both women and men, by which the propagation of their unwanted race will be at first retarded, and then completely stopped. The coercion to perform hard labor, to attend mandatory “re-education” classes, and to be killed in an extra-judicial manner complete the list of so many crimes.
In other words, that to which we’ve all borne witness, to which it would behoove us as a moral nation to respond, is a genocide in the far East. What we’re watching, as Pompeo made clear, is not some kind of ugly but forgivable prejudice, an unwholesome but natural bias, being exercised on a strange and alien race, an eccentric minority with whom a traditional, homogeneous country hasn’t yet quite learned to live. In the opinion of Pompeo, to which, with any luck, that of the rest of the world will soon conform, we’re seeing something far worse: the deliberate persecution and intended demise of a distinctive and religious people, because they’re a religious people, by a state unencumbered by the moral weight and authority of a supervising god.
This, I fear, is no great revelation to those not entirely unacquainted with the story. It feels as though it were but an articulation in words that which we’ve come quietly to sense. Still, it’s an uncomfortable reality from which Western eyes have for too long averted their gaze. No more shall we pretend ourselves blind to the striking clarity of the Chinese Communist Party’s depravity, and no longer shall we excuse our lethargy with faint claims of inadequate knowledge.
The poor, forgotten Uyghur Muslims, an abused and wretched race on whom, by the devilish edicts of the Chinese Communist state, unspeakable crimes have been and continue to be carried out, deserve our attention. Mike Pompeo, in a valiant and commendable act, the last for which he’ll likely be remembered, has invited us to let fall the scales from our eyes and recognize the Uyghur’s plight.