Mike Pompeo denounces 'awful abuses' of Muslim Uighurs detained in re-education camps in China's Xinjiang
Mike Pompeo did not say in the speech whether he would take punitive measures or not.
Washington: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday denounced "awful abuses" of Muslim Uighurs detained in Chinese re-education camps.
"Hundreds of thousands and possibly millions of Uighurs are held against their will in so-called re-education camps where they're forced to endure severe political indoctrination and other awful abuses," Pompeo said in a speech on the state of religious freedom around the world.
Beijing has rejected United Nation's estimates that more than a million members of Muslim minorities are being held in internment camps in China's western Xinjiang region.
In a letter to Pompeo and US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Republican and Democratic members of the US Congress late last month called for sanctions on Chinese officials implicated in the internment of Uighurs. Pompeo did not say in the speech whether he would take punitive measures.
He also expressed concern about the fate of Christians in China, who he said had been targeted in a government crackdown. The government, he said, has been "closing churches, burning bibles and ordering followers to sign papers renouncing their faith."
Protests have sprung up across Shanghai and Beijing in the wake of a deadly fire in Urumqi, the capital of the western province of Xinjiang -- deaths that many blame on strict lockdowns preventing emergency services from reaching the victims in time
The protest at Tsinghua follows an overnight demonstration at neighbouring Peking University, and videos have spread on social media of similar gatherings in other Chinese cities
The fund would be largely aimed at the most vulnerable nations, though there would be room for middle-income countries that are severely battered by climate disasters to get aid