U.S. top diplomat nominee calls China Uighur policy 'genocide'

Blinken told his Senate confirmation hearing there was "no doubt" China posed the most significant challenge to the United States of any nation, and added he believed there was a very strong foundation to build a bipartisan policy to stand up to Beijing.

Asked whether he agreed with outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's assessment on Tuesday that China was committing genocide against minority Muslims, Blinken replied: "That would be my judgment as well."

"I think we're very much in agreement," he said. "The forcing of men, women and children into concentration camps; trying to, in effect, re-educate them to be adherents to the ideology of the Chinese Communist Party, all of that speaks to an effort to commit genocide."

Asked how he would respond in his first 30 days as secretary of state, Blinken replied:

"I think we should be looking at making sure that we are not importing products that are made with forced labor from Xinjiang ... we need to make sure that we're also not exporting technologies and tools that could be used to further their repression. That's one place to start."

China denies U.S. accusations of human rights violations.