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The Chinese flag behind razor wire at a housing compound in Yangisar, south of Kashgar, in China's western Xinjiang region. Photo credit: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images.

A report released today by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum states the museum is "gravely concerned" the "Chinese government may be committing genocide against the Uyghurs."

Why it matters: A growing number of governments and other institutions are concluding the Chinese government's policies toward the Uyghur ethnic minority aren't just repression, but in fact constitute genocide.

  • Once a government has made a legal determination of genocide, they have an obligation under international law to take action.
  • The report was published by the museum's Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, which states in the report that it "seeks to do for victims of genocide today what was not done for the Jews of Europe."

Details: The 56-page report, titled "To Make Us Slowly Disappear," documents Chinese government policies targeting Uyghurs, including mass surveillance, restrictions on Uyghur religion and culture, forced sterilization, mass incarceration, forced labor, destruction of Uyghur cultural and religious site, and transfer of Uyghur children away from their families.

Context: In 2020, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum assessed the Chinese government was committing "crimes against humanity" in Xinjiang, where many Uyghurs live.

  • The museum's assessment of the situation has now changed. Recent information shows "the Chinese government’s conduct has escalated beyond a policy of forced assimilation," the report states.
  • "This includes, in particular, a deepening assault on Uyghur female reproductive capacity through forced sterilization and forced intrauterine device (IUD) placement as well as the separation of the sexes through mass detention and forcible transfer."
  • Those policies raise "legitimate questions about the existence of the intent to biologically destroy the group, in whole or in substantial part," which is an important part of the definition of genocide, the report states.

Go deeper: "Clear evidence" China is committing genocide against Uyghurs

Go deeper

Nov 16, 2021 - World

Olympics sponsors caught between U.S. and China

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Companies that do business in China — especially Olympics sponsors — are concerned Beijing will use the 2022 Winter Games as a loyalty test.

Why it matters: China's leaders have become adept at silencing criticism from U.S. companies that might otherwise condemn the country's human rights record — and the Chinese government has been able to host prestigious global events like the Olympics while committing rights violations with impunity.

The front-runners for Biden's Supreme Court pick

Judge Kentaji Brown Jackson (left) and Justice Leondra Kruger (right) Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images and Lonnie Tague, US Department of Justice

Two highly accomplished Black female judges — Ketanji Brown Jackson, a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals; and Leondra Kruger, a justice on the California Supreme Court — are seen as the early front-runners to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

The big picture: Jackson is a powerful federal judge with a record that progressives feel they can trust. Kruger was a highly regarded litigator and has carved out a reputation for working well with conservative judges.

Fed: Rate hikes are near

The Federal Reserve's headquarters building. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve is on track to raise its main target interest rate in mid-March, as Chair Jerome Powell pledged to be "humble and nimble" in adapting policy to a fast-changing economy.

Why it matters: Fed leaders are looking to choke off inflation by raising interest rates in the near future, but keeping its options open for how fast and far the effort will go.