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International relations

US human rights report calls China's actions in Xinjiang 'genocide'

Report lays out claims of torture, forced sterilization and persecution against Uyghur community

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks on the release of the 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices at the State Department.   © Reuters

NEW YORK -- The U.S. Department of State's 2020 human rights report classified China's actions in Xinjiang as "genocide and crimes against humanity" for the first time, as tensions between the two countries over Beijing's treatment of its Uyghur Muslim minority population continue to rise.

"The report released today shows that the trend lines on human rights continue to move in the wrong direction," U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a news conference Tuesday, pointing to a list of human right abuses around the world, with China's conduct in Xinjiang on top.

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