The Economist says the United States was wrong to designate China's ongoing use of prison camps and forced sterilization of women in the Uighur population as "genocide."
The Friday article, published in the British magazine's editorial section, said that ongoing population control efforts in Xinjiang do not meet the United Nations definition of genocide. By declaring that the Chinese Communist Party engages in genocide, the article argues, Washington diminishes the meaning of the term.
"China’s persecution of the Uighurs is horrific: It has locked up perhaps one million of them in prison camps, which it naturally mislabels ‘vocational training centers.' It has forcibly sterilized some Uighur women. But it is not slaughtering them," the article states. "By accusing it of genocide instead, in the absence of mass murder, America is diminishing the unique stigma of the term…. It accomplishes nothing to exaggerate the Communist Party’s crimes in Xinjiang."
The editorial does not mention new reports of systematic rape in forced labor camps, nor does it acknowledge comments made by Chinese Communist Party leadership that Uighur Muslims are comparable to "malignant tumors" and that their faith is like a "communicable plague." Even further, it ignores accounts from camp survivors that Chinese officials kill newborn Uighur children.
Rep. Michael McCaul (R., Texas), ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called the article "incredibly unsettling."
"The Economist is wrong: The Chinese Communist Party is clearly committing a genocide against the Uighurs and other ethnic and religious minorities as defined by the Genocide Convention. And while the Economist’s intentions were hopefully not to serve as genocide apologists, the CCP will certainly use their inaccurate headline to continue to excuse their genocide," McCaul said. "It’s incredibly unsettling to see one make excuses for those same horrors."
A series of Washington Free Beacon reports revealed ties between the Economist and the Chinese Communist Party. Last year, the magazine published several advertorials from the CCP-backed Beijing Review, which contained highly favorable coverage of Xi Jinping’s coronavirus response. The outlet failed to disclose its agreement with the CCP-funded entity, a potential violation of federal disclosure laws.
The Economist also provided sympathetic coverage of Huawei without disclosing its lucrative business relationship with the Chinese tech giant. Over the course of recent years, magazine staffers have left the organization to join Huawei. The tech firm also worked with the Economist to organize multiple European tech junkets, effectively legitimizing the operations of CCP-backed Huawei.
Huawei-based technology plays a major role in China's growing surveillance state and could be partially responsible for overseeing the Uighur genocide. Facial-recognition technologies developed by Huawei could be used by the CCP to identify and track Uighur Muslims.