China has committed "crimes against humanity and possibly genocide" against the Uighurs and other Muslim minority communities in the western Xinjiang province, according to a US commission report released Thursday.
"Chinese government is intentionally working to destroy Uyghur and other minority families, culture, and religious adherence," the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) said in its 2020 annual report.
In addition to new evidence of a systematic and widespread policy of forced sterilization and birth suppression of the Uyghur and other minority populations, there is half a million middle and elementary school-age children, with many of whom involuntarily separated from their families, according to the CECC.
All of these trends "should be considered when determining whether the Chinese government is responsible for perpetrating atrocity crimes -- including genocide -- against Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other Turkic and predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in China," the report said.
China has been widely accused of putting Uighurs into camps. As many as 1.6 million Uighurs have left China to live abroad, according to the World Uyghur Congress.
Rights groups, including Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International, accuse Beijing of oppressing 12 million Uighurs, most of whom are Muslims.
A 2018 HRW report detailed a Chinese government campaign of "mass arbitrary detention, torture, forced political indoctrination, and mass surveillance of Xinjiang's Muslims."
China, however, has repeatedly denied allegations it is operating detention camps in its northwestern autonomous region, claiming instead that they are "re-educating" Uighurs.