Assistant Secretary of Defense Randall Schriver, the top Asia hand at the Pentagon who has criticized China’s Uyghur internment camps in Xinjiang, has resigned and will leave his post at the end of the month, RFA has learned.
Schriver, whose full title is assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, was thinking of leaving Pentagon for a while due to “personal reasons”, and he submitted his resignation this week several people who are familiar with his resignation told RFA’s Mandarin Service.
One of the sources said Schriver will leave his office at the end of December.
Schriver was nominated by President Donald Trump, confirmed by the Senate on December 20, 2017, and sworn into office on January 8, 2018.
One of the sources told RFA that Schriver has enjoyed good working relationships with all the secretaries of defense he served, including former Secretary James Mattis, former acting Secretary Patrick Shanahan and current Secretary Mark Esper.
Schriver, seen as a China hawk and a supporter of Taiwan, said in June that China’s mass incarceration of more than a million Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region posed a security threat because it increased the “potential for radicalization” of the oppressed Muslims.
“We do worry about the effects these will have on regional security and potential for radicalization. Treating people this way can certainly lead to those outcomes,” he said at a conference on the Uyghur crisis.
Schriver was one of the first U.S. officials publicly to describe the Uyghur internment facilities as “concentration camps.”
“The (Chinese) Communist Party is using the security forces for mass imprisonment of Chinese Muslims in concentration camps,” he told a Pentagon briefing on May 3.
The Pentagon and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs did not reply to RFA’s request for comments on Schriver’s departure.
Reported by Rita Cheng for RFA's Mandarin Service. Translated by Rita Cheng. Written in English by Paul Eckert.