National Security

Trump Administration Combats Chinese ‘Culture of Death’

Senior administration official details steps taken to defend human rights in China

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The Trump administration is taking steps to combat human-rights abuses in China related to the imprisonment of Uighur Muslims and Beijing's population control policy, a senior official told the Washington Free Beacon on Friday.

A senior administration official detailed to the Free Beacon on background 13 policy actions since 2017 the White House has taken to hold Beijing accountable for its population control measures and treatment of Uighurs in Xinjiang. Key measures include the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act earlier this year and cutting off funding to United Nations programming that cooperates with China as early as 2017.

"Where the previous Administration and many other world leaders delivered speeches and empty rhetoric, President Trump has taken bold action," National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot told the Free Beacon. "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."

The Trump administration identified the oppression of Uighur Muslims as a top concern. "Beijing’s atrocities against the Uighurs include horrific acts against women including forced abortion, forced sterilization and other coercive birth-control methods, forced labor, sexual violence including rape in detention, compulsory home-stays by Han officials, and forced marriages," Ullyot said.

Recent reports from Radio Free Asia and the American Enterprise Institute demonstrate that the communist regime has brought about what AEI scholar Nicholas Eberstadt called an "almost perfect embodiment" of a "culture of death."  The reports detail the Chinese Communist Party's enforcement of late-term abortions and infanticide of Uighur Muslims as well as the economic downturns stemming from population control measures such as the One Child and Two Child policies.

The CCP has long forced abortions and denied basic human rights to the general Chinese population, but experts say the scale and intention of Beijing's anti-Uighur policies stand out. For decades, Han Chinese have been forced to abort children that exceeded state quotas—a practice that disproportionately kills female babies and has led to an impending demographic disaster in China. The treatment of Uighurs in particular, however, amounts to genocide, according to AEI adjunct fellow Lyman Stone.

"Genocide is not only action, but intention behind the action," Stone told the Free Beacon. "What’s happening in Xinjiang [to Uighur Muslims] is different. It is paired with a larger cultural push, it is far more rapid…. It is unparalleled in Chinese provincial demographic history."

By denying Uighurs religious freedom, the rule of law, and even the ability to have children, the Chinese regime is moving away from a culture promoting life, said Catholic University of America professor William Saunders. "Those [rights] are all essential for any society to even begin to approach a culture of life. To the extent that those are denied, then you’re building a culture of death," he said.

This culture extends to population control for Han Chinese. Though it implemented a Two Child Policy in 2015 to loosen its infamous One Child Policy, Beijing never renounced its claim as arbiter of family size—a claim Eberstadt identified as "a breathtakingly ambitious and ruthless formulation of the totalitarian ideal."

Eberstadt also told the Free Beacon there are now millions of elderly people in rural China with no family or kinship networks to take care of them. Such circumstances are only exacerbated by the coronavirus, which has damaged the Chinese economy to levels experts are not fully able to assess yet. "We may be about to witness a slow-motion humanitarian calamity in rural China for tens of millions of people with no backup," Eberstadt said.

Chinese demographic patterns show a freeze in population expansion. While Chinese women report a low birth rate, leaving population levels below replacement, the country's elites have emigrated at high rates in the last decade.

"Such practices certainly reflect a kind of pessimism about the future and about the society and world that they live in," Stone told the Free Beacon. "People want out."