Patterico's Pontifications

1/19/2021

Trump Administration, Heading Towards the Door, Declares That China Is Engaging in Genocide

Filed under: General — JVW @ 4:59 pm



[guest post by JVW]

On their last full day in office, the outgoing Trump Administration set a potential landmine for Team Biden:

The world has watched with shock over the past three years as the Chinese Communist Party constructed a vast, racist system of concentration camps, forced labor, and high-tech surveillance in the far-Western region of Xinjiang. Now, the U.S. government has decided to call these multifaceted horrors what they are: Crimes against humanity and genocide.

“Since the Allied forces exposed the horrors of Nazi concentration camps, the refrain ‘Never again’ has become the civilized world’s rallying cry against these horrors,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement announcing the decision. “Just because an atrocity is perpetrated in a manner that is different than what we have observed in the past, does not make it any less an atrocity.”

The barbaric conduct that Pompeo has now deemed crimes against humanity and genocide stems from the Communist Party’s desire to annihilate the Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims it has sought to supplant with Han Chinese settlers. As senior administration officials put it this afternoon, China’s actions aren’t at first blush the same as the mass killings at Srebrenica and in Rwanda. They are instead “a very patient evil,” designed to erase the Uyghurs over time through methods both tried-and-true and experimental.

I am beginning to believe that “a very patient evil” is an excellent description of Chinese intentions regarding the Uyghurs. In the 1990s and 2000s I bought into the idea that as China built up its economy and emerged as a strong trading partner throughout the world, they would inexorably begin the process of liberalizing and democratizing. But it appears now that Xi Jinping and his henchmen have figured out the nasty trick of giving gullible Westerners the illusion of liberalization, all the while maintaining an iron fist of bureaucratic totalitarianism inside of that silken glove of modernization.

The Trump Administration admits that there is no evidence of widespread murder, but points to the forced abortions and sterilization of Uyghurs inside of the internment camps as the “patient evil” China has undertaken in order to ultimately eradicate the Muslim ethnic group, who is believed to have emigrated from present-day Mongolia into Western China starting back in the ninth century. Estimates on the number of Uyghurs living in China vary from a low of about 11 million from the Chinese government to upwards of 20 million claimed by Uyghurs themselves. Consensus on the number currently interred also varies, from the one million generally accepted by international organizations to upwards of three million claimed by activists.

So now how does the incoming administration respond? There is little doubt that China will complain about this last-second move and will furiously lobby behind the scenes for it to be rescinded (they tried to hire retired United States Senator Barbara Boxer to work on behalf of the firm who supplies the surveliance equipment used in the internment campus and throughout Xinjiang, but backlash against her registering as a foreign agent for the Chinese Communist Party led her to rather testily pull out of the arrangement). To its credit, the Biden campaign has characterized China’s actions towards the Uyghurs as genocide, but as we have seen for years and years with the Armenians and Turks, lofty campaign rhetoric oftentimes does not translate to actionable items from the Oval Office.

I don’t hold any more hope for this coming administration than I did for the departing one, but perhaps a realistic and pragmatic approach to China, recognizing that government for what it is and not for what we had hoped it would become, can be a starting point for true foreign policy bipartisan agreement in this country.

– JVW

49 Responses to “Trump Administration, Heading Towards the Door, Declares That China Is Engaging in Genocide”

  1. Meanwhile, last week a renowned mechanical engineering professor at MIT and a naturalized American citizen originally from China was arrested and charged with failing to report research activity he undertook on behalf of the Chinese government. The former chair of Harvard’s Chemistry Department was arrested and charged with a similar offense roughly a year ago. China’s not being very good partners, are they?

    JVW (ee64e4)

  2. Is “potential landmine” your term or “theirs”, JVW, and in what sense is it?

    nk (1d9030)

  3. Ill grudging give the T man credit on this. CV-19 forced sacrifice precluded any possible sacrifice from decoupling from Chinese industrial input, i.o.w. a missed opportunity that wont come for another 5 years or so.

    But one might say Pompeo is advocating “multiculturalism for thee but not for me”.

    urbanleftbehind (d986db)

  4. It’s worse than that, urbanleftbehind. China will now be pissed off and will no longer enforce Ivanka’s trademarks, and you won’t know if you’re buying a genuine Uighur slave labor made Ivanka-brand or some Hong Kong knockoff.

    nk (1d9030)

  5. Is “potential landmine” your term or “theirs”, JVW, and in what sense is it?

    I’m probably overstating things for dramatic effect, but I think this does complicate foreign policy matters for the Biden Administration. As I mention in the post, Biden was fine with characterizing Peking’s policy towards the Uyghurs as genocide in the campaign, but just as with generations of candidates who so described Turkey’s behavior to Armenians after World War I only to then fall silent once they made it into the Oval Office, I am guessing that Team Biden wanted to finesse the issue. But now it seems almost inevitable that they will have to address it one way or another, doesn’t it?

    JVW (ee64e4)

  6. I suspect that this is something Pompeo wanted to do for some time, but Trump cared more bout his fine relationship with Xi.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  7. This hardly makes up for Trump’s repeated butchering of US foreign policy, most notably with North Korea.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  8. I kinda doubt Biden will be any better than Trump at telling USian consumers they need to pay non-prison-wage costs for consumables.

    But I have to say I like this new trend, if that is what it is, of trying to preemptively blow up the next admin. This has… possibilities.

    john (cd2753)

  9. I kind of feel that, for at least the last couple of months and maybe much longer, Pompeo was really the President outside our borders. Deep down I don’t like-like him, but I would like to, if I could, give him credit for doing his duty to America.

    nk (1d9030)

  10. Anyway, here’s the (new) deal:

    At the same time, Blinken embraced many of the Trump administration’s most high-profile policies – including the State Department’s 11th-hour determination on Tuesday that China is committing genocide in its treatment of the Uyghur people, a Muslim minority group.

    “That would be my judgment as well,” Blinken told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when asked if he agrees with the State Department’s surprise genocide declaration. “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.”

    nk (1d9030)

  11. I’m with you, I thought the Tiananmen Square backlash, the influence of incorporating Hong Kong, all the western style development in Shanghai, that China would embrace a bit more openness. They did, sort of, their system isn’t socialist, it definitely isn’t communist, at least in any definition that we had for what those terms mean/meant. They’ve taken the worst things about the pre-union industrialization of the US, and said, “the real problem was giving those people rights (which took them away from the powerful)”, so let’s install a real modern global market focused totalitarian state 100% focused on skipping directly from the US in the 1890’s to the 1990’s in a Neo-Mercantilism fascist manner.

    We should look to (re)join the TPP, as a first step, as a second…I got nothin’. That’s a problem. The last 5-20 years, depending on when you think the battleship had a last chance to turn, have been a missed opportunity. The TPP being the last good option really (and include all of the other D/R candidates in 2015/16 in this bad outcome). The west has let China get this deep in the Uighur crisis, vs the response to Russia and Ukraine, specifically because China leveraged their cash flow to buy all of our collective debt and are so intertwined into the supply chain so that any direct confrontation is incredibly fraught…so I got nothin’.

    Another problem is the last 4 years the Trump Patriot Party (yeah, apparently that is the name of the new party they’re trying to start) is also a Neo-Mercantile based philosophy, they were just really bad at it. It’s going to take a big pivot, and our coopetition based relationship with China makes it hard. So good luck Biden administration, and I wish the Uighurs a solution, but how to put the pressure on to make it so…I got nothin’.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  12. ‘I don’t hold any more hope for this coming administration than I did for the departing one…’

    China? “Here’s the deal;” listen for it:

    “Ask not what this Biden can do for you; ask what you can do for my Hunter.”

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  13. 9. nk (1d9030) — 1/19/2021 @ 6:02 pm

    I kind of feel that, for at least the last couple of months and maybe much longer, Pompeo was really the President outside our borders.

    I feel something like that too. Not quite like what you said, but, for the most part, he didn’t have a boss. He still had to watch out for what Trump said.

    Sammy Finkelman (dcc9ca)

  14. JVW (ee64e4) — 1/19/2021 @ 5:12 pm

    American citizen originally from China was arrested and charged with failing to report research activity he undertook on behalf of the Chinese government. The former chair of Harvard’s Chemistry Department was arrested and charged with a similar offense roughly a year ago.
    It’s the business of hiding the research they do but basing it on the work of Americans, that makes the idea credible that, not only did the coronavirus escape from a lab in Wuhan in Wuhan, but it was created there!

    https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/coronavirus-lab-escape-theory.html

    I put an additional twist on what’s in this article. I would say that it didn’t come out of the BSL-4 (biosafety-level-four) laboratory that is the Wuhan Institute of Virology, but out of a lab with a lesser degree of safety, the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

    I speculate that some secret research was being conducted at this secondary facility, and because it was so secret it didn’t have the same level of precautions as that of Wuhan Institute of Virology.

    And the thing is The Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention is within about 300 yards of .
    Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which was scapegoated as the point of origin of the disease, and falsely labeled a “wet market” (I’ve seen this “wet market” trope reappearing recently.
    a maximum-security facility,

    Sammy Finkelman (dcc9ca)

  15. Format error: The last paragraphs should have gone back to starting all the way ti the left, nit further indented.

    Now what happened?

    To make along story short, to start off with, there was this mad scientist, Dr. Ralph Baric of the at the University of North Carolina, who had this idea of making naturally occurring viruses more infectious for purposes of anticipating a mutation that might occur in nature so that you could make a vaccine for it in advance. He got funding for what was called gain-of-function experiments from Dr. Fauci, but it was cut off in 2014, on the grounds it was too stupid and dangerous.

    Here is anew York Times editorial from 2012 that comes out against this type of research, mainly not on the grounds that a biologically engineered virus might escape from a lab but that the work might be copied by a terrorist who wanted to create an epidemic:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/08/opinion/sunday/an-engineered-doomsday.html

    Anywaym after his U.S. funding was cut off in 2014, this mad scientist from North Carolina began working in 2015 with Shi Zhengli, of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, also known as thee “bat woman” who was collecting all sorts of bat viruses from bats southern China. She started experimenting with it in order to understand how it might potentially infect humans. She got some funding (for different research) by the National Institutes of Health and indirectly by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency of the Department of Defense via Peter Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance.

    Npw nothing probably escaped from her laboratory. But I think some work, highly sensitive, and kept secret might have been taken offsite to the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention (WHCDC)

    Now what this article seems to say is that SARS-CoV-2 is a combination of a lethal bat virus called, RaTG13 (96% identical) and MERS (or s slightly mutated MERS) in articular a sequence going “R-R-A-R.” (the amino acids: arginine, arginine, alanine, and arginine)

    l MERS virus

    Sammy Finkelman (dcc9ca)

  16. The BSL-4 (biosafety-level-four) laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology was only built in 2015, It was difficult to train all the Chinese adequately. Now if someone decided to do some work that was secret offsite in 2019…

    Sammy Finkelman (dcc9ca)

  17. Deep down I don’t like-like him, but I would like to, if I could, give him credit for doing his duty to America.

    I have no idea of his character. There are people who take crappy jobs because someone has to. But he did graduate first in his class at West Point, so he’s got the ability to think, which is good.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  18. Sammy, I give them an A-plus for this virus. It totally debilitated the West without being so deadly as to start a war.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  19. Classic, about Bannon, that Trump pardoned the guy who defrauded Trump supporters.
    Trump still has nine more hours. He could still pardon Snowden, Assange and himself.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  20. The way a pardon could stay under the radar is if Trump pardons someone before they’ve been charged with a crime. In that case, that person could have a presidential pardon in their pocket to use if they ever do get charged with a related crime, but if they aren’t, the public wouldn’t necessarily ever know about it. Sometimes this is called a sealed, secret, or pocket pardon.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  21. With Bannon out from under his felonious cloud, and given what McConnell said earlier today, maybe this does mean that Trump will start his own Patriot Party and take his adoring superfans with him. Nothing would give me more satisfaction than to see Trump and his MAGA tribe get the f-ck out of my party. I’ll take a smaller GOP without him and the cultists and the QAnoners and the Proud Boys, etc.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  22. Classic, about Bannon, that Trump pardoned the guy who defrauded Trump supporters.
    And leaving Bannon’s co-conspirators holding the bag.

    Rip Murdock (f56c1e)

  23. He could still pardon Snowden, Assange ……
    God, I hope not.

    Rip Murdock (f56c1e)

  24. And Bannon can’t plead the Fifth if he’s compelled to testify against his fraudy business partners.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  25. He could still pardon Snowden, Assange

    Don’t you read your Twitter? He wants to pardon them, so the Dems cooked up the Fake News impeachment witch hunt just to make it impossible because those pardons would make Glenn Greenwald happy.

    lurker (59504c)

  26. That Swamp Creature Gingrich backed pardoning this total scumbag says it all:

    Randall “Duke” Cunningham – President Trump granted a conditional pardon to Randall “Duke” Cunningham who was released from prison in 2013. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich strongly supports this pardon. Mr. Cunningham, a former California Congressman, was sentenced to over 8 years’ imprisonment for accepting bribes while he held public office. During his time in prison, Mr. Cunningham tutored other inmates to help them achieve their GED. Mr. Cunningham is a combat veteran, an ace fighter pilot, and a member of the Military Order of Purple Hearts. Although combat-disabled, he continues to serve his community by volunteering with a local fire department and is active in Bible Study.

    Randy ‘Duke’ Cunningham was a thief and a scumbag; the Top Gunner served in the military; who cares: so did Oswald; and you know who replaced him? Another thief and scumbag w/military ties who was pardoned: Duncan Hunter. Swamp creatures all.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  27. I missed it, lurker! No excuse, because I follow Ms. Wheeler.
    It figures that a nut like Glennwald would converge with all the nuttery that is Trump. But I did catch this tweet from Scaramucci:

    I’m not 100% sure… but I’m getting increasingly worried that the Trump new healthcare plan might not be coming….

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  28. This move by Pompeo kind of pisses me off. If you actually care about the Uighurs then you’d want to work with the incoming Biden administration to figure out an approach that might move China to lessen the oppression. But instead, in an act of last minute self vanity you just launch this pronouncement into the world as you’re headed out the door, you’re not actually helping matters.

    This was designed to make Pompeo look good for some future political run. The well being of the Uighurs doesn’t seem to really figure.

    Victor (4959fb)

  29. From what I know about the Uighurs what Pompeo did here is a good thing. Genocide is absolutely the right word for this.

    Doing it at the last minute is cowardly and undermines the point of calling it what it is; genocide. The rest of the world will see the timing and recognize that the Trump administration lacked the courage or character to do this themselves. It’s clear that Trump and Pompeo don’t see this a moral imperative or in the interests of the US. If they did they would have done it sooner.

    Doing this without coordination with the Biden administration, when combined with the evidence that they don’t really care about the issue, is unpatriotic. They’ve taken an action they don’t believe in that will negatively impact the incoming administration. It’s yet more evidence that the Trump wing of the GOP places the good of the country as a tertiary value. A shame about Pompeo being scum.

    Time123 (36651d)

  30. I would have thought, minus the till-shaking of course, the Duncan Hunters would have been right up DCSCA’s political alley.

    urbanleftbehind (bf82dd)

  31. A lot of the anti-Muslim Trump base actually supports what the Chinese are doing.

    Rip Murdock (f56c1e)

  32. Back from my self-imposed hiatus.

    There’s a reason the press and their Chinese markets pressed so hard to keep Wuhan from being linked to the flu that spread from there. The Chinese government cannot stand any perceived slight against them and they will massively overreact. They’ve done so by banning films that might have a single moment they consider offensive and I’m sure they threatened the international press with banishment if they didn’t toe the line.

    Anything we can do to call out their totalitarian regime is a good thing. I’m glad the President did so, even I’d he waited till he had one foot out the door.

    NJRob (fb2b5a)

  33. Well it’s hard not to be a little cynical about this given that the detention centers were being built over the past three years….and they’re difficult to hide. John Bolton’s book claims that Trump gave Xi the de facto ok to build Uighurs’ detention camps…back when he was negotiating trade deals. The good is that it is yet one more public declaration that this is what Communist regimes do…and there is little partisan dissent about what is going on. But how do you engage now that China is an economic force….and how do you bring along allies that Trump has regularly ignored, dismissed, or maligned? This is the open…and hard….question that Biden’s team will have to navigate. So, right message….but kind of late.

    AJ_Liberty (a4ff25)

  34. From the wrong thread: (my typos corrected)

    Lame duck administrations don’t usually make important changes like this without consulting the incoming administration (although Obama placed sanctions on Russia, including closing consulates) but not as late as this.

    Sammy Finkelman (dcc9ca) — 1/20/2021 @ 6:31 am

    Up the thread I linked where Biden’s incoming SOS, in his confirmation hearing, agrees with Pompeo’s message. I don’t see this as a landmine. I see it as giving the Biden administration the high ground (militarily speaking, not that sissy holier-than-thou other metaphor).

    nk (1d9030) — 1/20/2021 @ 6:39 am

    Sammy Finkelman (dcc9ca)

  35. Trump frees all his appointees from the ethics rules barring them from lobbying:

    As his term comes to an end, President Donald Trump revoked a rule he signed early in his term that imposed a five-year lobbying ban for administration officials and a lifetime ban on lobbying for foreign governments.

    Trump had signed the order “Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Appointees” within his first week in office as part of his campaign promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington.
    But now, as he and his advisers depart the White House, Trump is presumably allowing for those officials to begin lobbying when they leave government.

    Dave (1bb933)

  36. 36 Interesting. He probably wouldn’t have done it at the end of 8 years.

    The inauguration ceremony begins at 11:16 am EST.

    Sammy Finkelman (dcc9ca)

  37. Back from my self-imposed hiatus.

    There’s a reason the press and their Chinese markets pressed so hard to keep Wuhan from being linked to the flu that spread from there. The Chinese government cannot stand any perceived slight against them and they will massively overreact. They’ve done so by banning films that might have a single moment they consider offensive and I’m sure they threatened the international press with banishment if they didn’t toe the line.

    Anything we can do to call out their totalitarian regime is a good thing. I’m glad the President did so, even I’d he waited till he had one foot out the door.

    NJRob (fb2b5a) — 1/20/2021 @ 6:36 am

    Glad to have you back. BTW, It looks like we agree about this quite a bit.

    Time123 (36651d)

  38. set a potential landmine for Team Biden:

    Hollywood and the NBA could not be reached for comment on China.

    BillPasadena (5b0401)

  39. China stopped SARS from being linked too closely to the coronavirus. It should have been called SARS2, not Covid-19.

    It was too late to prevent the virus itself from being named SARS-CoV-2.

    Sammy Finkelman (dcc9ca)

  40. Insidiousness is the Chinese modus operandi (and modus vivendi I would say) and they cannot afford to have their underhandedness exposed. To expose them is to disarm them.

    nk (1d9030)

  41. A few weeks ago, when McConnell acknowledged Biden as president-elect, he also cautioned Trump against any last-minute mischief. The last few days have been a flurry of mischief, including Pompeo’s genocide declaration. This can only piss off McConnell even more, and only move him further in the direction of voting for conviction.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  42. I hope Trump uses all that post-election fundraising money to start his own Patriot Party.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  43. Senator Amy Klobuchar introducing the swearing in of Kamala Harris.

    Sammy Finkelman (dcc9ca)

  44. Aren’t they jumping the gun a little bit? Or does this happen every time?

    Sammy Finkelman (dcc9ca)

  45. How China abuses its own people is not really our concern.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  46. Joe Biden’s inaugural address: “Democracy had prevailed.”

    Their watches must be running fast.

    Sammy Finkelman (dcc9ca)

  47. Getting too much of a 1840 WHH vibe, especially with what looks like cold “AF” temps.

    urbanleftbehind (bf82dd)

  48. @36-
    The lobbying ban was toothless anyway, unenforceable, and probably unconstitutional.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)


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