Secretary of State Michael Pompeo condemned China’s persecution of Muslim Uighurs and other religious minorities as he visited Indonesia, the world’s most populous Islamic nation, days ahead of the U.S. election.
Pompeo urged Indonesia’s religious leaders and fellow Muslims to speak out against human rights abuses committed by China in a speech on Thursday to Indonesia’s largest Islamic organization, the Nahdlatul Ulama. The stop is part of a five-country trip through South and Southeast Asia that comes amid rising regional tensions between the U.S. and China.
“The gravest threat to the future of religious freedom is the Chinese Communist Party’s war against people of all faiths: Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, and Falun Gong practitioners,” Pompeo said. “The atheist CCP has tried to convince the world that its brutalization of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang is necessary as a counterterrorism or poverty alleviation effort, depending on the audience.”
Pompeo alleged that China forcibly sterilized Uighurs, forced them to eat pork during Ramadan, destroyed Muslim cemeteries and took Uighur children away from parents for re-education in government-run schools.