"China has never been this isolated in the recent memory, and the isolation is making them belligerent," Turkel told The Epoch Times at the annual International Religious Freedom Summit.
"That's why they are picking fights with camp survivors," he added.
Turkel was referring to attempts by Chinese officials to publicly shame Uyghur women who gave first hand accounts of sexual abuse at the internment camps in Xinjiang, where up to 1 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities are held under what the regime claims to be a "counter-terrorism" campaign.
Nury Turkel, the current vice chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, speaks in an interview with The Epoch Times in May 2021. (The Epoch Times)