The Dispatch

The Holy See and thug regimes

January 27, 2021 George Weigel 22

The list of grave issues that must be addressed during a future papal interregnum, and by the cardinal-electors in a conclave, continues to grow. The finances of the Holy See are arguably in worse shape […]

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News Briefs

US recognizes China’s treatment of Uyghurs as ‘genocide’

January 19, 2021 CNA Daily News 0

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jan 19, 2021 / 11:18 am (CNA).- The United States has declared that the Chinese government’s actions against the Uyghur population amount to genocide and crimes against humanity.

“I have determined that the People’s Republic of China is committing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, China, targeting Uyghur Muslims and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a tweet posted shortly after noon on January 19.

“These acts are an affront to the Chinese people and to civilized nations everywhere,” said Pompeo, on his last full day as secretary of state. “The People’s Republic of China and the CCP must be held to account.”

The Chinese government admitted in October 2018 that “re-education camps” for members of the Uyghur Muslim population had been established in Xingjiang. The camps were first spotted on satellite imagery in 2017.

The highest estimate sets the total number of inmates in the camps at 3 million, plus approximately half a million minor children in special boarding schools for “re-education” purposes. Survivors have reported indoctrination, forced abortions, beatings, forced labor, and torture in the camps.

In a statement published to the Department of State website, Pompeo further outlined his allegations against the People’s Republic of China.

“After careful examination of the available facts, I have determined that since at least March 2017, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), under the direction and control of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), has committed crimes against humanity against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other members of ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang,” said Pompeo.

He specifically cited the “arbitrary imprisonment” of more than a million Uyghurs; the continued use of forced sterilization, torture, and forced labor; and “the imposition of draconian restrictions on freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, and freedom of movement.”

Pompeo said he believes “this genocide is ongoing, and that we are witnessing the systematic attempt to destroy Uyghurs by the Chinese party-state.”

“The governing authorities of the second most economically, militarily, and politically powerful country on earth have made clear that they are engaged in the forced assimilation and eventual erasure of a vulnerable ethnic and religious minority group, even as they simultaneously assert their country as a global leader and attempt to remold the international system in their image,” he said.

Pompeo, speaking on behalf of the United States, called for the People’s Republic of China to “immediately release all arbitrary detained persons” and to “abolish its system of internment, detention camps, house arrest and forced labor; cease coercive population control measures, including forced sterilizations, forced abortion, forced birth control, and the removal of children from their families; end all torture and abuse in places of detention; end the persecution of Uyghurs and other members of religious and ethnic minority groups in Xinjiang and elsewhere in China, and afford Uyghurs and other persecuted minorities the freedom to travel and emigrate.”

The secretary of state also requested that “all appropriate multilateral and relevant judicial bodies” to work alongside the United States “to promote accountability for those responsible for these atrocities.” The Department of State will continue to investigate the situation in Xinjiang, he said, and will make this evidence available to other authorities as well.

The sanctions against those who are promoting atrocities in Xinjiang will remain, said Pompeo.

“The United States has worked exhaustively to pull into the light what the Communist Party and General Secretary Xi Jinping wish to keep hidden through obfuscation, propaganda, and coercion,” said Pompeo.

“Beijing’s atrocities in Xinjiang represent an extreme affront to the Uyghurs, the people of China, and civilized people everywhere. We will not remain silent. If the Chinese Communist Party is allowed to commit genocide and crimes against humanity against its own people, imagine what it will be emboldened to do to the free world, in the not-so-distant future,” he said.

The Trump administration in recent months has cracked down on imports from China suspected to be produced with forced labor.

In August, President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign stated that the treatment of the Uyghur population in Xinjiang amounted to genocide.

“The unspeakable oppression that Uighurs and other ethnic minorities have suffered at the hands of China’s authoritarian government is genocide and Joe Biden stands against it in the strongest terms,” said campaign spokesman Andrew Bates at that time.


[…]

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News Briefs

Underground Catholic bishop dies in China

December 31, 2020 CNA Daily News 2

CNA Staff, Dec 31, 2020 / 03:25 pm (CNA).- According to the Catholic outlet AsiaNews, headquartered in Rome, Bishop Andrea Han Jingtao, 99, a leader in the underground Catholic Church in China, died Dec. 30. Han Jingtao was the underground Bishop of Siping.

In his early years growing up in a Catholic family, Han received a high-quality formation and education from the Canadian missionaries of Quebec, who ran the apostolic vicariate in his region of China before the communist revolution.

After Mao Zedong took power, the late bishop was sent to a concentration camp where he would be imprisoned for 27 years (1953-1980) “for refusing to participate in the ‘independent and autonomous’ Church, as Mao Zedong wanted,” AsiaNews reports.

Once freed, his command of the English language made him an asset for the communist regime, which conscripted him into service as an English teacher at Changchun University and then at the Northeast University for masters and doctoral programs. According to AsiaNews, “He introduced many Chinese to the study of Classical, Latin, and Greek languages and cultures.”

After his academic retirement in 1987, he dedicated his pastoral efforts to the local Legion of Mary and the religious congregation he founded, The Sisters of Mount Calvary.

According to AsiaNews. “He himself recalls that in the 1950s the regime wanted to ‘get rid of the pope’s interference and expel foreign missionaries. At that time, I realized that the Church was facing a great challenge and needed strong stamina, otherwise the Church would not be able to stand up. This is why I decided to set up a religious congregation.'”

He was secretly appointed bishop of Siping in 1982, but his underground ordination could only happen in 1986.

After being put under strict house surveillance in 1997, he continued to tend his flock under constant threat, convening secret gatherings and encouraging the laity to remain steadfast in faith and charity.

According to recent statistics provided by AsiaNews, his diocese includes some 30,000 Catholics, two-thirds of which belong to the underground Church. It has 20 priests and more than 100 nuns.


[…]

The Dispatch

On cages and evangelization in China

December 16, 2020 George Weigel 19

Joshua Wong is a young Chinese human rights activist, recently sentenced to 13 and a half months in prison on the Orwellian charge of “incitement to knowingly take part in an unauthorized assembly” – meaning, […]