US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo today called on countries to offer asylum to ethnic minorities fleeing China’s troubled Xinjiang region. He said this during his visit to oil-rich Kazakhstan, a country that borders the Xinjiang region of China.
At a press conference with Kazakh foreign minister Mukhtar Tleuberdi in Nur-Sultan, Pompeo said, the US simply asks to provide safe refuge and asylum for those seeking to flee China. He was meeting top officials in ex-Soviet Kazakhstan as he rounds off a five-nation tour.
His visit to the Kazakh capital Nur-Sultan also saw him meet with Kazakhs who say their family members are detained in Xinjiang, where over a million ethnic Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other minorities are believed to have been incarcerated as part of an unprecedented security crackdown in the region.
Kazakhstan has allowed several ethnic Kazakhs of Chinese citizenship who fled the region to stay in the country but has not given any of them asylum, a reluctance local activists attribute to Chinese pressure.