On Tuesday, less than 24 hours before leaving office, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced his department had determined that China had committed "genocide and crimes against humanity" by repressing Uygur Muslims in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
That several State Department officials said the decision was rooted in trying to meet policy goals, in the hope that the move would spur other nations to take a harder line together against China on this and other issues, has laid bare the nature of that determination as a political driven scheme.
Reportedly, State Department officials and lawyers have debated for months over whether or not they should try and claim China's practices in Xinjiang met the standard for genocide or whether they should accuse Beijing of crimes against humanity. In the end, with the clock ticking on the window of opportunity to make any kind of declaration, Pompeo apparently decided in for a cent, in for a dollar and that both should be used.
The rationale Pompeo gave for the "genocide" label was allegations of "forced sterilizations, birth control and family separations" with the intention to "destroy Uygur identity". These have long been shown to be nothing but lies fabricated by Uygur secessionists and think tanks funded by the US government and promoted by Western media organizations biased against China.
The development achievements of Xinjiang, which have been made in a peaceful, stable and harmonious social environment since the State implemented new measures to curb secessionism, extremism and terrorism about four years ago, have been recognized by a majority of the international community.
But the outgoing US administration pretends to be ignorant of the appalling violence and crimes against humanity the terrorists, extremists and secessionists have committed in Xinjiang.
In November, it no longer identified the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which has been behind the deadly attacks in Xinjiang and beyond, as a terrorist organization, even though it is recognized as such by the United Nations and almost all other countries. No wonder the determination declared by Pompeo has sent those in and associated with the organization into ecstasy, and they have expressed their gratitude for it.
In a Reuters report, Daniel Russel, a campaign adviser for incoming president Joe Biden and a top Asia official under Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, called Pompeo's last-minute move "the height of cynicism" and an attempt to lay "a malicious political booby trap" for the Biden administration.
As such, those openly endorsing the decision, including some nominated by Biden for key posts in the incoming administration, should be cautious of becoming accomplices of those who may more truly be accused of committing crimes against humanity.