China reportedly replaces Communist party leader who oversaw Uyghur persecution

The 66-year-old Chinese politburo member was sanctioned by the United States last year for his role facilitating "serious human rights abuse" in Xinjiang.

Updated: December 26, 2021 - 9:23pm

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China has replaced Xinjiang Communist Party leader Chen Quanguo, who was accused of overseeing the government's genocide and persecution of Uyghurs and other ethnic Muslim minorities since 2016 under the guise of fighting Islamic extremism.

Chen will move to another position and be replaced by Ma Xingrui, who has been governor of Guangdong province since 2017, Reuters reported.

The state-run Xinhua News Agency made the announcement Christmas Day without noting where Chen was being relocated.

More than one million Muslims are estimated to be in internment camps in Xinjiang, according to the United Nations. Millions more are "subjected to systematized mass surveillance," Amnesty International reports.

China decries the accusations of genocide as "ridiculously absurd" and says the camps are anti-extremist vocational centers.

Chen, a 66-year-old Chinese politburo member, was sanctioned by the United States last year for his role facilitating "serious human rights abuse" in Xinjiang.

The United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Lithuania and Japan are diplomatically boycotting the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics over China's human rights abuses.

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