Psaki Won’t Say if Biden Agrees with Trump Determination That China is Engaged in Genocide: I’ll ‘Check With Our National Security Team’
White House press secretary Jen Psaki declined to say on Friday whether President Joe Biden will stand by his predecessor’s determination that China was engaged in “genocide” against Uighurs, an ethnic minority.
“The previous administration, on their way out the door, declared that China’s human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims were ‘crimes against humanity’ and ‘genocide,'” a reporter noted in a question at an afternoon White House press conference. “Does the president agree with that determination, and will he keep it?”
“I know that our secretary of state is just about to get confirmed,” Psaki said, referring to Secretary of State nominee Antony Blinken. “I know he will be reviewing a number of the decisions and assessments that have been made. Obviously, the president has spoken before to the horrific treatment of Uighurs, but I don’t have anything more for you on it. I can check with our national security team and see if we have a more up-to-date statement.”
Psaki was responding to a reporter’s question about whether the Biden administration would retain the policy announced by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just a day before President Donald Trump left office. China has more than 1 million Uighurs detained in “reeducation” camps in its Xinjiang region, according to State Department estimates. Former detainees have detailed being interrogated, tortured, sexually abused, and forcibly sterilized.
“That would be my judgment as well,” Blinken told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee of the decision during a Tuesday hearing on his nomination. “Forcing men, women, and children into concentration camps, trying to in effect reeducate them to be adherents to the Chinese Communist Party – all of that speaks to an effort to commit genocide.”
China’s Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday it would sanction 28 former officials, including Pompeo, former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, and former National Security Adviser John Bolton in response to the decision.
Watch above via CNN.
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