China uses counter-terrorism as pretext to carry out repressive campaign against Uighurs: US Report

China uses counter-terrorism (CT) as a pretext to detain and carry out a repressive campaign against millions of Uighurs and members of other Muslim minority groups in internment camps in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, a US State Department report has said.
“The PRC government’s CT attention remained on ethnic Uyghur so-called ‘extremists’ whom Beijing ascribes to the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, despite a lack of evidence that a group by that name is still active. The PRC government shared international concerns regarding other terrorist groups such as al-Qa’ida and ISIS, among others,” said the State Department in its Congressional-mandated annual report 2019 Country Reports on Terrorism.
The report alleged that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has detained more than one million Uyghurs and members of other Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang since April 2017 because of their religion and ethnicity, and “subjected them to political, linguistic, and cultural indoctrination as well as forced disappearance, torture, physical abuse – including forced sterilization and sexual abuse – and prolonged detention without trial”.
“The Chinese authorities also developed new legal guidelines and law enforcement tools to expand their capabilities to carry out this repressive campaign, which included pervasive, arbitrary, high-tech surveillance; the collection of personal data including DNA samples; compulsory stays by PRC government officials in Uyghur homes; and controls on the expression of cultural or religious observations”, it said.
The report stated that China, despite being a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the APG, and the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (EAG) as well as the Defeat ISIS Coalition’s CIFG, did not provide any significant updates related to terror activities in the state in 2019.
In April 2019, FATF in its ‘Mutual Evaluation Report on China’, noted deficiencies related to the implementation of targeted financial sanctions and understanding of terrorist financing risks among financial and non-financial institutions, businesses, and professions.
Meanwhile, the report said, Hong Kong continued its security and law enforcement partnership with the United States through the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department’s joint implementation of the Container Security Initiative.
In September last year, the FATF report assessed Hong Kong to be at medium-low risk of terrorist financing and assessed that it has implemented sound systems to detect and investigate terrorist financing when it occurs.