The US said Thursday that the Uyghur genocide in China’s northwestern Xinjiang autonomous region will be one of the issues discussed by top US and Chinese diplomats next week. 

“I know that addressing the genocide against Uyghur Muslims is something that will be a topic of discussion with the Chinese directly next week,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told a press conference.

“Certainly the position of the United States is that what is happening is genocide, and we will look for opportunities to work with other partners on putting additional pressure on the Chinese.

“But we’ll also raise it directly and it will be a topic of discussion next week,” she added.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan will meet with China’s Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi and State Councilor Wang Yi on March 18 in Alaska.

On Tuesday, State Department Spokesman Ned Price said the US has not changed its judgment that there is a genocide against Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.

When asked if the genocide is ongoing, Price responded: “We have seen nothing that would change our assessment.”

The Xinjiang region is home to around 10 million Uighurs. The Turkic Muslim group, which makes up around 45% of Xinjiang’s population, has long accused China’s authorities of cultural, religious and economic discrimination.

Up to 1 million people, or about 7% of the Muslim population in Xinjiang, have been incarcerated in an expanding network of “political re-education” camps, according to US officials and UN experts.

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