Columbia professor: China’s Uyghur genocide has ‘essentially the same motivation’ as US response to 9/11

Jeffrey Sachs argued that the Chinese government’s crackdown on Uyghur Muslims is akin to the American government’s actions following 9/11.

The professor has a lengthy history of downplaying China’s human rights abuses.

A professor at Columbia University wrote that the Chinese Communist Party’s crackdown on Uyghur Muslims is comparable to America’s actions following 9/11.

Jeffrey Sachs — a professor of economics at Columbia University — called former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s affirmation that China is carrying out genocide against the Uyghurs a “flimsy claim.”

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“There are credible charges of human rights abuses against Uighurs [sic], but those do not per se constitute genocide,” he wrote. 

Instead, Sachs argued that the Chinese “crackdown” against Uyghurs “had essentially the same motivation as America’s foray into the Middle East and Central Asia after the September 2001 attacks: to stop the terrorism of militant Islamic groups.”

“So, what else might constitute evidence of genocide in China?” continued Sachs. “The State Department report refers to mass internment of perhaps one million Uighurs. If proven, that would constitute a gross violation of human rights; but, again, it is not evidence, per se, of intent to exterminate.”

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In January, Sachs was criticized for refusing to mention China’s campaign against the Uyghurs while emphasizing alleged human rights abuses in the United States.

Last year, Sachs called a speech from Pompeo against the Chinese Communist Party “yet another evangelical crusade” that represented an “extremist, simplistic, and dangerous” tact toward China.

Sachs has previously faced backlash for suggesting that American officials were wrong to seek the extradition of a Huawei executive for alleged sanctions violations. 

Campus Reform reached out to Sachs for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.

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