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China calls Pompeo ‘doomsday clown’ over Xinjiang genocide claims

CHINA angrily rejected US accusations of genocide today, labelling outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – who levelled the charge on Tuesday – a “doomsday clown.”

Mr Pompeo’s incendiary allegation follows his claims that Iran is the new headquarters for al-Qaida and that Cuba is a state sponsor of terrorism. Like those accusations, his new attack on China is probably intended to tie the hands of the incoming Joe Biden administration.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying described the claims as a “malicious farce concocted by individual anti-China and anti-communist forces.

“In our view, Pompeo’s designation is a piece of waste paper,” she said, adding that the US secretary of state is “notorious for lying and deceiving.”

Mr Pompeo’s allegation that China is engaged in a “systematic attempt to destroy Uighurs” in the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region refers to claims that it is imposing forced sterilisation on Uighur women, a charge that China rejects.

The proportion of Xinjiang’s population which is Uighur has risen slightly over the past decade, from 46.6 to 51.1 per cent, it says, whereas the Han population has declined slightly from 40.4 to 36 per cent. Like other ethnic minorities, Uighurs were not subject to the one-child policy in force from 1979 to 2015.

The US State Department also claims that China has imprisoned millions of Uighurs in camps because of their Muslim faith, part of what Xinjiang’s Uighur Governor Shohrat Zakir calls a “smear campaign.”

China says that its camps are for the rehabilitation of jihadists aligned with al-Qaida and Isis and have successfully reduced the number of terrorist attacks in the region. It does not recognise the numbers claimed by the US.

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