11:01 GMT27 February 2021
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    Earlier, the US Congress passed the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, calling on all countries to condemn Beijing's alleged human rights violations towards the Muslim population of Xinjiang.

    President Joe Biden's nominee for the post of US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, revealed during her confirmation hearing in the Senate that the Department of State is reviewing the possibility of designating the actions of the Chinese authorities in the Xinjiang region as "genocide and crimes against humanity".

    "I know that the State Department is reviewing that as we speak. What they are doing is horrific and I look forward to seeing the results of the review that is being done", Thomas-Greenfield said.

    The planned designation is in line with Washington's policy of accusing Beijing of purportedly oppressing the Uyghur Muslim minority in Xinjiang. In June 2020, the US Congress passed a piece of legislation called the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020, which accused China of committing human rights abuses against the Xinjiang minority and called on all countries to join in denouncing Beijing's alleged crimes. China strongly denies the allegations and vehemently objects to Washington's attempts to meddle in its sovereign domestic affairs.

    'New' US Foreign Policies: Pressure Iran and Respond 'Aggressively' to Russia

    The Democrat's nominee for the prominent diplomatic post also revealed that the Department of State is planning to increase pressure on Iran after the Biden administration suggested that it would be striking a new nuclear deal with the country According to Thomas-Greenfield, the US plans to apply this pressure with help not only from allies, but also from China and Russia, who have previously refused to join the "maximum pressure" campaign against the Islamic Republic that was initiated by President Donald Trump in 2018 after he abandoned the Iran nuclear deal.

    "As the ambassador to the United Nations, if I'm confirmed, I will work to ensure that we get the support of our allies, but to see where we can find common ground with the Russians and the Chinese to put more pressure on the Iranians to push them back into strict compliance", Thomas-Greenfield said.

    Biden's UN envoy nominee also lifted the veil on the new administration's planned policy towards Russia during her confirmation hearing. Thomas-Greenfield claimed that Moscow's alleged actions towards the US are "adversarial" and suggested that Washington must respond to them "aggressively". The nominee for the diplomatic post clarified that she was referring to past allegations about purported Russian cyberattacks against American companies and government agencies, attempts at election meddling, as well as domestic human rights violations – none of which the US has proven by showing evidence.

    At the same time, Thomas-Greenfield said the US is ready to cooperate with Moscow on a number of issues. Her statement comes in the wake of the Biden administration reaching an agreement with the Kremlin to extend the New START nuclear arms control treaty for five years, just days before the accord was set to expire. Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed satisfaction with the fact that an agreement was reached in his first phone conversation with Biden. Putin also noted in the conversation with the newly sworn-in US president that a normalisation of ties between the two states would benefit them both, as well as the entire world.


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    Iran, Russia, US, Xinjiang, China, genocide
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