By Patricia Zengerle and Michelle Nichols
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department is reviewing a Trump administration determination that China has committed genocide by repressing Uighur Muslims in its Xinjiang region to make sure it sticks, President Joe Biden's pick to be U.N. ambassador said on Wednesday.
"The State Department is reviewing that now because all of the procedures were not followed," Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations committee. "They're looking to make sure that they are followed to ensure that that designation is held."
Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the move last week, one day before Biden took office, "after careful examination of the available facts," accusing the Chinese Communist Party of crimes against humanity targeting the Uighurs and other Muslim minorities since at least March 2017.
China has been widely condemned for its complexes in Xinjiang, which it describes as "vocational training centers" to stamp out extremism. It denies accusations of abuse.
The rare American determination came after Congress passed legislation on Dec. 27 requiring the U.S. administration to determine within 90 days whether China had committed crimes against humanity or a genocide.
Biden's Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during his confirmation hearing last week that he agreed with the genocide declaration.
China's embassy in Washington had responded to Pompeo's announcement, saying: "The so-called 'genocide' in Xinjiang is simply a lie. It is a farce used to discredit China." It rejected the U.S. declaration as a "gross interference in China's internal affairs."
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols and Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Bernadette Baum)