Donald Trump administration does not consider the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as a “legitimate system” of governance, said a senior US diplomat.
“The Chinese Communist Party is saying they have a legitimate system for the rest of the world to emulate. And we are saying they do not,” Sam Brownback, the State Department’s special representative for international religious freedom said.
Several State Department officials have been criticizing China’s human rights abuses on its minorities, including Uyghur Muslims, who are imprisoned in the so-called ‘re-education camps’ in Xinjiang province.
Brownback’s comments assume significance as the ties between the US and China are deteriorating over several issues including Beijing’s human rights violations and handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s a basic human right. It’s foundational to the United States’ founding and it’s being obliterated in China. It is a central piece of the dispute,” he said.
Chinese officials however, have denounced US criticism of China’s treatment of Uyghurs, stating that they are taking steps to mitigate terror threats in Xinjiang. According to Washington Examiner, Uyghur officials have accused the CCP of initiating a so-called ‘Pair Up and Become Family’ programme that places ethnic Chinese men in homes of Uyghur women- which amounts to “mass rape” as a tool of genocide. Camp survivors have reported the state of so called ‘re-education champs’ and added that guard thrashes inmates and even mocked their religious beliefs.
“You have a Communist Party that continues the communist way of being at war with faith. We don’t have a problem with the Chinese people. It’s the Communist Party and the atheistic control that they seek,” Brownback was quoted as saying.
US officials have tried to “put a face on the crime” taking place in China by slapping sanctions on Chen Quanguo, the party’s top official for Xinjiang and a member of the CCP’s ruling Politburo.
Brownback stopped short of denouncing the CCP, saying that Chinese people enjoyed greater religious freedom before Xi Jinping assumed power in 2013.
“The Communist Party looks at people of faith as having another allegiance than the Communist Party, and they are going to stomp that out. Governments have tried to do this for millennia and they have never been successful. The Chinese Communist Party will not be successful (in) stomping out faith,” the ambassador said.