In a July 2020 interview with National Public Radio (NPR), Adrian Zenz, a German academic, explained how his opinion of the Communist Party of China’s actions in the Xinjiang region of Western China have changed. He once argued that China's actions are a "cultural genocide" as opposed to a literal one. But since recent developments regarding the suppression of birth rates among minorities of Xinjiang, Zenz now says that "we do need to probably call it genocide."
On January 19, 2021, The U.S. State Department declared the Chinese government is committing genocide, among other crimes against humanity. In his statement, Secretary of State Pompeo said the Chinese authorities in Xinjiang had committed crimes against humanity, including arbitrary imprisonment, forced sterilization, torture, forced labor, and "draconian restrictions" on freedom of religion, expression, and movement.
Breaking News: The US has just declared that the Chinese government is committing genocide and crimes against humanity...
Following Biden's August 2020 campaign statement with the same declaration, the Trump administration's finding is the strongest rebuke of China's actions by any government so far. Declaring genocide of Xinjiang's religious and ethnic minorities was the Trump administration's final action regarding what most consider the worst abuses of human rights in decades.
Secretary of State Pompeo and senior State Department officials' findings could complicate Biden's administration's dealings with Beijing, but it also offers him a source of leverage. Biden's nominee for secretary of state, Anthony J. Blinken, said that he agrees with the genocide determination and condemned the Xinjiang "concentration camps." He also submitted that China "poses the most significant challenge of any nation-state to the United States."
The Chinese government rejects the accusations of genocide or any other violations of human rights in Xinjiang. They claim their policies support their battle with "terrorism and extremism," and "these measures have proved to well service Xinjiang's situation and produced notable results."
China also expanded and intensified the programs used to relocate minorities from rural areas to jobs in factories, cities, and commercial farming. The government claims these work transfers are entirely voluntary and will bring prosperity to the impoverished population. But some work transfer programs restricted recruits from choosing or leaving their jobs, which amounts to forced labor.
The schools have primarily discarded Uighur-language materials and pressure students to learn in Mandarin Chinese. Uighur academics have been arrested trying to preserve their culture. Children are being forced into boarding schools and separated from their parents.
On January 19, 2021, the Chinese Embassy in Washington made a lengthy statement saying "the so-called genocide in Xinjiang is simply a lie" and claimed the overall population of minorities in Xinjiang had grown from 2010 to 2018. However, statistics show that from 2015 to 2018, birth rates in the mostly Uyghur regions ... plunged by more than 60%. In the same period, the birth rate of the whole country decreased by 9.69%, from 12.07 to 10.9 per 1,000 people.
Chinese authorities admitted that birth rates dropped by nearly a third in Xinjiang but denied reports of genocide and forced invasive birth control procedures. Birth rates continue to plunge in Xinjiang. It has now declined to nearly 24% just for 2019 alone. That's low compared to a 4.2% decline nationwide.