"There are credible reports out there that many, many thousands have been detained in detention centers since April 2017, and the numbers are fairly significant from what we can tell so far", Nauert said.
The group said in a report that Xinjiang's Muslim population of about 13 million has been subjected to "forced political indoctrination, collective punishment, restrictions on movement and communications, heightened religious restrictions, and mass surveillance in violation of worldwide human rights law".
Nauert acknowledged that the State Department had received a letter from a bipartisan group of USA lawmakers at the end of August asking Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to impose sanctions on a number of Chinese officials accused of overseeing the policies. "We're not going to preview any sanctions that may or may not happen", Nauert said.
"China consistently resolutely opposes the United States using Xinjiang-related issues to interfere in China's internal affairs", Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told the media here.
"I want to say that Xinjiang is enjoying overall social stability, sound economic development, and harmonious co-existence of different ethnic groups", he said at his daily press briefing.
Ghostly translucent creatures discovered 24,000 feet beneath the sea
The team tried to catch one of these fishes using an amphipod prey that one snailfish followed into one of the traps. The creatures can swim backwards and upside down, have long legs like a spider, and paddles to help them swim.
Florence downgraded to Cat. 2; still potentially deadly storm
Duke Energy Corp expected between 25 percent and 75 percent of its 4 million customers would lose power in the Carolinas. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper predicted tens of thousands of homes and businesses would be flooded in his state.
Apologetic Hugo Lloris lucky not to cause accident, says Mauricio Pochettino
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has forgiven Hugo Lloris . 'He is punishing himself. "Now I need to pay like a man". Foyth has now returned to training, however, but Sissoko is not expected to resume training with the group again until next week.
Xinjiang is home to over half of China's 24 million Muslims.
Until now, President Trump has largely resisted punishing China for its human rights record, or even accusing it of widespread violations.
The rights watchdog said that 1 million people are being held in detention camps, where Turkic Muslims are being forced to learn Mandarin Chinese, sing praises of the Chinese Communist Party, and memorize rules applicable primarily to Turkic Muslims. Although Beijing has denied the allegations, Xinjiang authorities have acknowledged the existence of "political education camps" and "characterize them as correctional or rehabilitation facilities for "incorrect" or "sick" thoughts", HRW writes.
Officials from the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said various reports from the region indicate that Muslims are "being treated as enemies of the state exclusively on the basis of their ethno-religious identity".
One month later, in a submission to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Germany-based Uyghur Congress (WUC) said an estimated one million Uyghurs were in political indoctrination camps as of July.
Bachelet said a United Nations human rights panel has received credible reports that up to a million Uighurs in Xinjiang province have been detained without legal process by China and held in "re-education camps".