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China Spent the Last Year Committing Every Human Rights Violation in the Book, U.S. Intel Finds

Chinese President Xi Jinping. EPA
Chinese President Xi Jinping. EPA

By: Jake Smith, Daily Caller News Foundation

Despite Beijing’s denials, China committed a flurry of grave human rights violations throughout 2023, according to new U.S. intelligence released Monday.

The Chinese government was found throughout the year to have engaged in corruption, repression of political dissidence, arbitrary or illegal killings and detention, torture of detainees, kidnapping and genocide against religious minorities, according to the State Department’s 2023 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices released on Monday. China routinely denies that it commits any of these crimes and violations despite years of credible allegations from the U.S. intelligence community.

“The government did not take credible steps to identify or punish officials who may have committed human rights abuses,” the State Department report says. There was often little information abo

China enforced disappearances of individuals “at a nationwide, systemic scale” in 2023, according to the report. Often China will disappear individuals through a legal claim that they pose a risk to national security or through “liuzhi” — retention in custody — and bring them to blacklist locations, where there were several reports that indicate they were subject to abuses “including but not limited to physical and psychological abuse, humiliation, rape, torture, starvation, isolation, and forced confessions.”

In other cases, individuals detained by China — “ordinary prisoners,” but “political and religious dissidents” in particular — were “beaten, raped, subjected to electric shock, forced to sit on stools for hours on end, hung by the wrists, deprived of sleep, force-fed, forced to take medication against their will, and otherwise subjected to physical and psychological abuse,” according to the report. Though these methods are illegal, there were credible accusations that law enforcement “routinely ignored prohibitions.”

China arrested individuals on arbitrary grounds or without reason, including “lawyers, religious leaders or adherents, petitioners, and other rights advocates,” according to the report. Individuals were denied a fair public trial and the judges overseeing their cases received guidance from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on how to litigate.

In the majority of instances, these violations and crimes were committed against the Muslim Uyghur population and other religious ethnic minority groups in the Xinjiang province of China, according to the report. These groups were also subject to detention in “re-education” and internment camps; more than 1 million Uyghurs have been detained by China as of 2023.

China also engaged in intimidation or harassment tactics against individuals outside the mainland, including political dissidents, spiritual practitioners such as Uyghurs, foreign journalists and Chinese nationals attending or employed at academies overseas in 2023, according to the report. These tactics included physical and digital threats, unlawful surveillance and blackmail, and in some instances exterritorial kidnapping or killings.

The Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported in June 2023 that a Chinese intelligence agency was secretly operating branches across seven different American cities. All of these agencies have had contact with China’s Ministry of Public Security, often referred to as the country’s “FBI”; the Department of Justice charged two men in April 2023 for opening a secret police station in New York for MPS to “monitor and intimidate dissidents.”

The report was discussed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a briefing on Monday. Blinken is set to travel to Beijing this week to discuss U.S. concerns with CCP officials, including China’s heightened aggression in the South China Sea, and areas for improvement discussed by President Joe Biden and President Xi Jinping in November, including military, counternarcotics and artificial intelligence cooperation, according to the State Department.

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