Both U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and President Donald Trump are newly condemning China's treatment of its Uighur Muslim minority, with Biden calling it genocide.
"The unspeakable oppression that Uighurs and other ethnic minorities have suffered at the hands of China's authoritarian government is genocide and Joe Biden stands against it in the strongest terms," his campaign said this week.
The Trump administration has not described Beijing's actions as genocide, but National Security Council (NSC) spokesman John Ullyot condemned the Chinese treatment of the Uighurs.
He said China had committed "horrific acts against women, including forced abortion, forced sterilization and other coercive birth control methods, state-sponsored forced labor, sexual violence including through rape in detention, compulsory home-stays by Han officials and forced marriages."
The NSC spokesman added, "The Chinese Communist Party's atrocities also include the largest incarceration of an ethnic minority since World War II."
Biden's campaign said that if the Trump administration decides to call the Chinese actions genocide, "the pressing question is what will Donald Trump do to take action. He must also apologize for condoning this horrifying treatment of Uighurs."
Ullyot said, "President Trump's policies have demonstrated that every person — the born and unborn, the poor, the downcast, the disabled, the infirm, and the elderly — has inherent value." He said Trump has taken "bold action" against China for its treatment of the Uighurs.
A senior Trump administration official said that over the last year, the U.S. has imposed a variety of restrictions and sanctions on Chinese officials for human rights abuses in Xinjiang, the region where the Uighurs have been detained.