On China’s mass internment and genocide of the Uyghur ethnic minority

Contents:

(1) Introduction, petition to Disney

(2) “When It Comes to the Uyghur Genocide, the World Cannot Be a Bystander”

(3) China’s Mass Internment of Uighurs Is a ‘Modern Cultural Genocide’

(4) The Uyghur genocide in detail:

• Propaganda
• Mass detention
• Torture
• Compulsory sterilizations and contraception
• Brainwashing
• Slave labour
• Medical experiments
• Organized mass rape and sexual torture
• IUDs and birth control
• Forced cohabitation, co-sleeping, rape, and abortion
• Organ harvesting
• Forced labour
• Surveillance and harassment outside China
• Designation of abuses:
ethnocide, genocide, cultural genocide, crimes against humanity
• International responses: Canada, USA
• Denial

(5) Corporate Complicity in China’s Genocide: Where US Brands Go from Here

(6) Biden dismisses Uighur genocide as part of China’s ‘different norms’

(7) Leaked Chinese document on Uyghur Muslims show people detained for veil, beard or clicking on foreign website

___________________________________________________

(1) Introduction

Uyghur Muslims are a Turkic minority ethnic group originating from and culturally affiliated with the general region of Central and East Asia.

Although the roots of the conflict go back decades, even centuries, the current genocide began in 2017 and is still underway today.

It has happened through mass arrests, murder, rapes, torture, destruction of mosques, stealing children, and numerous other human rights violations detailed below.

It’s still debated whether this is a full-fledged genocide or a “cultural genocide.” In fact, it’s both. There is both mass murder and deliberate eradication of an ancient culture by force. It is a crime against humanity, one that many in the West are complicit in.

There was initial denial of the camps, but the CCP had to finally admit it after evidence was produced.

Now the CCP claims it’s a “counter-terrorism” measure. I can well imagine that the Uyghar people resisted Communism (I would too), and now they’re being punished for it. Their entire culture is being erased.

Biden and Trudeau are silent and complicit in this genocide, saying it’s an internal issue to China and we should not judge them by our norms. This form of argument is called cultural relativism and has been used for decades by China to evade criticism of human rights violations.

Disney and numerous other corporations are also complicit in this crime against humanity. Countries around the world are split in their reaction to this, some siding with China (those that are paid to do so), and others opposing it.

Here is the text of an online petition to oppose Disney’s complicity in this crime against humanity:

Petition to Stop Disney Profiting from the Uyghur Genocide

Robert A. Iger
Executive Chairman, The Walt Disney Company

Dear Robert Iger,

We ask you to immediately stop the release of live-action remake of the Mulan movie, apologize to the victims of Uyghur genocide, edit out the genocide locations you have filmed at, delete gratitude to the Chinese Communist Party in your credits and contribute to Uyghur genocide education and awareness in a meaningful and impactful way.

Disney, which owns ABC News, must have been aware of the existence of Chinese concentration camps where over a million Uyghurs and other Turkic people are detained, suffering from crimes against humanity, forced labor and genocide in the Xinjiang region, the historic Eastern Turkestan which like Tibet is occupied by China.

As reported by the Washington Post: Disney offers a special thanks to more than a dozen Chinese institutions that helped with the film. These include four Chinese Communist Party propaganda departments in the region of Xinjiang as well as the Public Security Bureau of the city of Turpan in the same region — organizations that are facilitating crimes against humanity.

We demand that Disney divests from the region as recommended by 220+ human, labor, and Uyghur rights organizations in the Coalition To End Uyghur Forced Labor.

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Any support or silence of nation-states for the CCP is undoubtedly influenced by pay-offs from China to leaders of those nations. China’s financial influence is organized through the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI).

China has influenced Canada and the U.S. as well. If those countries fall to Communism — which seems possible now — a cultural genocide will spread worldwide.

As the CCP’s influence expands worldwide, this model of cultural genocide will spread. Covid-19 restrictions, including lockdowns, have been pioneered by the CCP. This is not just a problem for the Uyghurs, but for the whole world.

Are Covid isolation camps small-scale prototypes of the re-education centres used in Xinjiang models for much larger operations to re-education millions later on? It seems possible.

(2) “When It Comes to the Uyghur Genocide, the World Cannot Be a Bystander”


Jul 20, 2020 – Researcher Adrian Zenz and the Associated Press recently revealed Chinese government policies designed to reduce the birthrates of Uyghurs through compulsory sterilizations and birth control. The measures aim to reduce the absolute numbers of Uyghurs and accelerate their assimilation into a “Chinese nationality.”

These findings “provide the strongest evidence yet that Beijing’s policies in Xinjiang meet one of the genocide criteria cited in the U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, namely that of Section D of Article II: ‘imposing measures intended to prevent births within the [targeted] group”, says the researcher.

However, the United Nations has been astonishingly absent from the discussion so far. Last week, however, nearly 50 UN independent experts issued an encouraging and unprecedented statement denouncing China’s human rights record and made an unprecedented call for the creation of a dedicated expert and special session to address China’s abuses.

All governments must respond to these calls, implement their recommendations, and make their own legal determinations on genocide based on the available evidence, given that the UN system itself is often crippled by Chinese influence

Below is an op-ed by Omer Kanat, Executive Director at Uyghur Human Rights Project

We have all seen the videos. A person collapses in the street, a car hits a pedestrian, or someone assaults an innocent passerby. Then to our disbelief, everyone in the vicinity carries on with their day as if nothing had happened. When we are watching the images, we ask how it is possible that people will not intervene or help.

The bystander effect has been in full force when it comes to the Chinese state’s repression of the Uyghur people. For the past three years, only a small number of governments have taken any notice at all.

Most countries have been silent until now because of China’s political power, generous loans and investment, and strong-arm diplomacy. Some governments even justify inaction by claiming there is no evidence of harm to Uyghurs, and more than 50 of them praised China’s policies last October.

Despite Beijing’s clumsy attempts at disinformationmass internments and imprisonmentsenforced disappearances, and coerced labor have been abundantly documented by many independent investigations. Journalists and experts from all over the world have analyzed hundreds of Chinese government documents proving a vast scheme of brutality towards Uyghurs.

Researcher Adrian Zenz and the Associated Press recently revealed Chinese government policies designed to reduce the birthrates of Uyghurs through compulsory sterilizations and birth control. The measures aim to reduce the absolute numbers of Uyghurs and accelerate their assimilation into a “Chinese nationality.”

In discussing the implications of his report, Zenz concludes, “These findings provide the strongest evidence yet that Beijing’s policies in Xinjiang meet one of the genocide criteria cited in the U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, namely that of Section D of Article II: ‘imposing measures intended to prevent births within the [targeted] group.’”

While Zenz’s findings are shocking, China’s intent towards Uyghurs has been evident for some time. Use of dehumanizing language to refer to Uyghurs comes from the very top. Xi Jinping compared Islam to a virus-like “contagion” and concluded addressing it would require “a period of painful, interventionary treatment.” In case the message was somehow too opaque, he added that the government must “show absolutely no mercy.”

Local authorities have followed Xi’s lead. Kashgar prefecture ordered officials that treatment of Uyghurs should “break their lineage, break their roots, break their connections, and break their origins.”

In social media messages among Uyghurs and in our public testimonies, we have discussed mandatory sterilization, forced abortions, and compulsory birth control for some time. We are relieved these accounts are finally taken seriously. Nevertheless, our frustration at continuing global inaction is apparent.

Many Uyghurs are now asking: where is the tipping point for a response? Now that China’s policies towards Uyghurs may now be considered genocide, there is no excuse for states and multilateral organizations to remain silent.

United Nations and government officials around the world are now on notice: the time is over for raising concerns privately with Chinese officials while conducting business as usual. Without international intervention, the pattern of Chinese government behavior tells us China’s policies will succeed in wiping out the Uyghurs as a people in their own homeland. And those entities with political power who remain bystanders are complicit.

The United Nations has been astonishingly absent from the discussion so far. Last week, however, nearly 50 UN independent experts issued an encouraging and unprecedented statement denouncing China’s human rights record and made an unprecedented call for the creation of a dedicated expert and special session to address China’s abuses.

All governments must respond to these calls, implement their recommendations, and make their own legal determinations on genocide based on the available evidence, given that the UN system itself is often crippled by Chinese influence

The Interparliamentary Alliance on China, a group made up by parliamentarians from 15 countries, offered further promising signs in a joint statement on June 29 calling for a UN General Assembly resolution to investigate the situation, and for “rapid and decisive political action to be taken” to prevent further abuses.

In the United States, the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act should only be the first of many similar laws around the world. The law requires visa bans and financial sanctions on Chinese officials responsible for atrocities against Uyghurs. On July 9, the U.S. Treasury Department acted, and imposed travel bans and asset freezes on human rights abusers, including one of the architects of the repression, Xinjiang Party Secretary, Chen Quanguo.

This is the first time Chinese officials are being held to account for violating the fundamental rights of our people. However, these measures must be followed up in the UN and among states at the bilateral level. Muslim-majority countries are conspicuous for looking the other way. Business as usual cannot stop genocide. Governments and the United Nations cannot be bystanders. They must act now.


Who are the Uyghurs and why is China being accused of ...
Uyghur family

(3) China’s Mass Internment of Uighurs Is a ‘Modern Cultural Genocide’

by Todd Krainin, Reason online magazine, Aug. 2019

In western China, there’s a growing network of what journalists, former inmates, and the U.S. government are calling “concentration camps”—or what the Chinese government refers to as “vocational training centers.” They’re believed to hold between 1 and 3 million people, and perhaps as much as one-quarter of the Muslim population of Xinjiang province.

Outside the camps, Xinjiang is described by its Uighur residents as a police state, in which the Chinese government subjects the population to round-the-clock surveillance. Expressions of traditional culture have been criminalized, with the intention of imposing Chinese cultural unity on a multicultural region.

Xinjiang, a region the size of Alaska, is home to 23 million people, 45 percent of whom are Uighurs, a people who identify closely with the culture of central Asia. The remainder are mostly Han Chinese, the majority ethnic group of mainland China.

Government officials initially denied the existence of the camps. Confronted with overwhelming evidence from satellite photography, witness testimonies, and internal communist party documents, Beijing was finally forced to acknowledge their existence.”

Xinjiang in China (de-facto).svg
Xinjiang, highlighted red, shown within China

(4) The Uyghur genocide in detail


This genocide is a sustained series of human rights abuses committed by the government of China against Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang as genocide. Since 2014, the Chinese government under the direction of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) during the administration of CCP general secretary Xi Jinping has pursued policies that incarcerated more than an estimated one million Muslims (the majority of them Uyghurs) in internment camps without any legal process.

This is the largest-scale detention of ethnic and religious minorities since World War II. Thousands of mosques have been destroyed or damaged, and hundreds of thousands of children have been forcibly separated from their parents and sent to boarding schools.

Government policies have included the arbitrary detention of Uyghurs in state-sponsored internment camps, forced labor, suppression of Uyghur religious practices, political indoctrination, severe ill-treatment, forced sterilization, forced contraception, and forced abortion. Chinese government statistics reported that from 2015 to 2018, birth rates in the mostly Uyghur regions of Hotan and Kashgar fell by more than 60%. 

At first, these actions were described as the forced assimilation of Xinjiang, and an ethnocide or cultural genocide. As more details emerged, some governments, activists, independent NGOs, human rights experts, academics, and the East Turkistan Government-in-Exile termed it genocide, pointing to the definition laid out in the Genocide Convention.

In December 2020, the International Criminal Court declined to take investigate China on jurisdictional grounds. The United States was the first country to declare the human rights abuses a genocide, announcing its finding on January 19, 2021.

Uyghurs are a Turkic ethnic group native to Xinjiang. They are distinct from the Han Chinese, the predominant ethnic group in China. Uyghurs are the second-largest predominantly Muslim ethnicity in China, Islam is an important aspect of Uyghur identity. The Uyghur language has around 10 million speakers and is shared with other minority groups in the region.

Following a meeting with Xi in Beijing, Chen Quanguo held a rally in Ürümqi with ten thousand troops, helicopters, and armored vehicles. As they paraded he announced a “smashing, obliterating offensive,” and declared that they would “bury the corpses of terrorists and terror gangs in the vast sea of the People’s War.” He ordered them to “Round up everyone who should be rounded up,” and by April 2017 mass arrests had begun.

New bans and regulations were implemented on April 1, 2017. Abnormally long beards and the wearing of veils in public were both banned. Not watching state-run television or listening to radio broadcasts, refusing to abide by family planning policies, or refusing to allow one’s children to attend state-run schools were all prohibited.

Alleged “re-education” efforts began in 2014 and were expanded in 2017. Chen ordered that the camps “be managed like the military and defended like a prison.” At this time, internment camps were built for the housing of students of the “re-education” programs, most of whom were Uyghurs. The Chinese government did not acknowledge their existence until 2018 and called them “vocational education and training centers.”

From 2019, the government began referring to them as “vocational training centers.” The camps tripled in size from 2018 to 2019 despite the Chinese government stating that most of the detainees had been released.

In 2017, China’s Ministry of Public Security began to procure race-based monitoring systems which could reportedly identify whether or not an individual was Uyghur. Despite its questionable accuracy, this allowed a “Uyghur alarm” to be added to surveillance systems. Enhanced border controls were also implemented with guilt being presumed in the absence of evidence, according to Zhu Hailun, who said, “If suspected terrorism cannot be ruled out, then a border control should be implemented to insure the person’s arrest.”

In 2017, 73% of foreign journalists in China reported being restricted or prohibited from reporting in Xinjiang, up from 42% in 2016.

Propaganda campaign

The Chinese government has engaged in a propaganda campaign to defend its actions in Xinjiang. China initially denied the existence of the Xinjiang internment camps and attempted to cover-up their existence. In 2018, after widespread reporting forced it to admit that the Xinjiang internment camps exist, the Chinese government initiated a campaign to portray the camps as humane and to deny that human rights abuses occurred in Xinjiang. In 2020 and 2021, the propaganda campaign expanded due to rising international backlash against government policies in Xinjiang, with the Chinese government worrying that it no longer had control of the narrative.

Chinese authorities have responded to allegations of abuse by Uyghur women by mounting attacks on their credibility and character. This included the disclosure of confidential medical data and personal information in an attempt to slander witnesses and undermine their testimony. Commentators suggested that the goal of these attacks was to silence further criticism, rather than to refute specific claims made by critics. Presentations given by Xinjiang’s publicity department and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to dispel allegations of abuse are closed to foreign journalists and feature pre-recorded questions as well as pre-recorded monologues from people in Xinjiang, including relatives of witnesses.

Chinese government propaganda attacks have also targeted international journalists covering human rights abuses in Xinjiang. After providing coverage critical of Chinese government abuses in Xinjiang, BBC News reporter John Sudworth was subjected to a campaign of propaganda and harassment by Chinese state-affiliated and CCP-affiliated media. The public attacks resulted in Sudworth and his wife Yvonne Murray, who reports for Raidió Teilifís Éireann, fleeing China for Taiwan for fear of their safety.

The Chinese government has used social media as a part of its extensive propaganda campaign. China has spent heavily to purchase Facebook advertisements in order to spread propaganda designed to incite doubt on the existence and scope of human rights violations occurring within Xinjiang. Douyin, the mainland Chinese sister app to ByteDance-owned social media app TikTok, presents users with significant amounts of Chinese state propaganda pertaining to the human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

Between July 2019 and early August 2019, CCP-owned tabloid the Global Times paid Twitter to promote tweets that denied that the Chinese government was committing human rights abuses in Xinjiang; Twitter later banned advertising from state-controlled media outlets on August 19 after removing large numbers of pro-Beijing bots from the social network.

In April 2021, the Chinese government released 5 propaganda videos titled, “Xinjiang is a Wonderful Land”, and released a musical titled “The Wings of Songs” which portrayed Xinjiang as harmonious and peaceful. The Wings of Songs portrays “a rural idyll of ethnic cohesion devoid of repression, mass surveillance” and without Islam.

Mainstream Media Acknowledge China's Organ Harvesting ...
Uyghur prisoners if CCP internment camp
China's Muslims Treated Like Lab Rats
Leaked Chinese document on Uyghur Muslims show people detained for veil, beard or clicking on foreign website

Mass detention

The Xinjiang internment camps are a part of the Chinese government’s strategy to govern Xinjiang through the detention of ethnic minorities en masse.

In 2021, a former Xinjiang police officer confessed to reporters that, when the police planned to raid a Uyghur village, they would sometimes arrange for the entire village to gather for a meeting with their chief so that the police could show up and arrest everyone, while other times the police would go door-to-door with rifles and pull all the residents from their homes overnight. Once the police had arrested people, they would interrogate and beat every man, woman, and child over age 14 “until they kneel on the floor crying.”

Researchers and organizations have made various estimates of the number of Xinjiang internment camp detainees. In 2018, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination vice-chairperson Gay McDougall indicated that around 1 million Uyghurs were being held in internment camps. In September 2020, a Chinese government white paper revealed that an average of 1.29 million workers went through “vocational training” per year between 2014 and 2019, though it does not specify how many of the people received the training in camps or how many times they went through training. Adrian Zenz stated that this “gives us a possible scope of coercive labor” occurring in Xinjiang. There have been multiple reports that mass deaths have occurred inside the camps.

In March 2019, Adrian Zenz told the United Nations that 1.5 million Uyghurs had been detained in camps, saying that the number accounted for the increases in the size and scope of detention in the region and public reporting on the stories of Uyghur exiles with families in internment camps. In July 2019, Zenz wrote in a paper published by the Journal of Political Risk that 1.5 million Uyghurs had been extrajudicially detained, which he described as being “an equivalent to just under one in six adult members of a Turkic and predominantly Muslim minority group in Xinjiang.”

In November 2019, Zenz estimated that the number of internment camps in Xinjiang had surpassed 1,000. In July 2020, Zenz wrote in Foreign Policy that his estimate had increased since November 2019, estimating that a total of 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities had been extrajudicially detained in what he described as “the largest incarceration of an ethnoreligious minority since the Holocaust”, arguing that the Chinese Government was engaging in policies in violation of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

According to a 2020 study by Joanne Smith Finley, “political re-education involves coercive Sinicization, deaths in the camps through malnutrition, unsanitary conditions, withheld medical care, and violence (beatings); rape of male and female prisoners; and, since the end of 2018, transfers of the most recalcitrant prisoners – usually young, religious males – to high-security prisons in Xinjiang or inner China. Other camp “graduates” have been sent into securitized forced labour. Those who remain outside the camps have been terrified into religious and cultural self-censorship through the threat of internment.”

Ethan Gutmann estimated in December 2020 that 5 to 10 percent of detainees had died each year in the camps.

Torture

China has subjected Uyghurs living in Xinjiang to torture. A former Chinese police detective, exiled in Europe, revealed to CNN in 2021 details of the systematic torture of Uyghurs in detention camps in Xinjiang, acts in which he had participated, as he had feared his own arrest had he dissented.

Mihrigul Tursun.jpg
Mihrigul Tursun

Mihrigul Tursun, a young Uyghur mother, said that she was “tortured and subjected to other brutal conditions.” In 2018, Tursun gave a testimony during which she described her experience while at the camps; she was drugged, interrogated for days without sleep, subjected to intrusive medical examinations, and strapped in a chair and received electric shocks. It was her third time being sent to a camp since 2015. Tursun told reporters that she remembered interrogators tell her “Being a Uighur is a crime.”

A spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Hua Chunying, has stated that Tursun was taken into custody by police on “suspicion of inciting ethnic hatred and discrimination” for a period lasting 20 days, but denies that Tursun was ever detained in an internment camp.

Another past detainee, Kayrat Samarkand, said that “‘[t]hey made me wear what they called ‘iron clothes,’ a suit made of metal that weighed over 50 pounds [23 kg]… It forced my arms and legs into an outstretched position. I couldn’t move at all, and my back was in terrible pain…They made people wear this thing to break their spirits. After 12 hours, I became so soft, quiet and lawful.'”

Waterboarding is reportedly among the forms of torture which have been used as part of the indoctrination process.

Compulsory sterilizations and contraception

In 2019, reports of forced sterilization in Xinjiang began to surface. Zumrat Dwut, a Uyghur woman, says that she was forcibly sterilized by tubal ligation during her time in a camp before her husband was able to get her out through requests to Pakistani diplomats. The Xinjiang regional government denies that she was forcibly sterilized.

In April 2021, exiled Uyghur doctor Gülgine reported that forced sterilization of ethnic Uyghurs persisted since the 1980s. Since 2014, there was an indication for a sharp increase in sterilization of Uyghur women to ensure that Uyghurs would remain a minority in the region.

Gülgine said “On some days there were about 80 surgeries to carry out forced sterilizations”. She presented intrauterine devices (IUDs) and remarked that “these devices were inserted into women’s wombs” to forcibly cause infertility.

Brainwashing

Former detainee Kayrat Samarkand described his camp routine in an article for NPR in 2018: “In addition to living in cramped quarters, he says inmates had to sing songs praising Chinese leader Xi Jinping before being allowed to eat. He says detainees were forced to memorize a list of what he calls ‘126 lies’ about religion: ‘Religion is opium, religion is bad, you must believe in no religion, you must believe in the Communist Party,’ he remembers. ‘Only [the] Communist Party could lead you to the bright future.'”

Documents which were leaked to The New York Times by an anonymous Chinese official advised that “Should students ask whether their missing parents had committed a crime, they are to be told no, it is just that their thinking has been infected by unhealthy thoughts. Freedom is only possible when this ‘virus’ in their thinking is eradicated and they are in good health.

The Heritage Foundation reported that “children whose parents are detained in the camps are often sent to state-run orphanages and brainwashed to forget their ethnic roots. Even if their parents are not detained, Uyghur children need to move to inner China and immerse themselves into the Han culture under the Chinese government’s ‘Xinjiang classrooms’ policy.”

In 2021, Gulbahar Haitiwaji reported being coerced into denouncing her family after her daughter had been photographed at a protest in Paris.

Labor

According to Quartz, the Xinjiang region is described by the Uyghur Human Rights Project as a “‘cotton gulag‘ where prison labor is present in all steps of the cotton supply chain…” However, not only textile labour was present.

Tahir Hamut, a Uyghur, worked in a labor camp during elementary school when he was a child, and he later worked in a labor camp as an adult, performing tasks such as picking cotton, shoveling gravel, and making bricks. “Everyone is forced to do all types of hard labor or face punishment,” he said. “Anyone unable to complete their duties will be beaten.”

In December 2020, an investigative report by BuzzFeed News revealed that “[f]orced labor on a vast scale is almost certainly taking place” inside the Xinjiang internment camps, with 135 factory facilities identified within the camps covering over 21 million square feet (2.0 km2) of land. The report noted that “[f]ourteen million square feet of new factories were built in 2018 alone” within the camps and that “former detainees said they were never given a choice about working, and that they earned a pittance or no pay at all”.

A Chinese website hosted by Baidu has posted job listings for transferring Uyghur laborers in batches of 50 to 100 people. The 2019 Five Year Plan of the Xinjiang government has an official “labour transfer programme” “to provide more employment opportunities for the surplus rural labour force”. These batches of Uyghurs are under “half-military” style management and direct supervision. A seafood processing plant owner said that the Uyghur workforce in his factory had left for Xinjiang due to the COVID-19 pandemic and were paid and housed properly.

At least 83 companies were found to have profited from Uyghur labor. Company responses included pledges of ensuring that it does not happen again by checking supply lines, such as Marks & Spencer. Samsung said that it would ensure that previous controls ensured good work conditions under its code of conduct. Apple, Esprit, and Fila did not offer responses to related inquiries.

The Chinese government is reported to have pressured foreign companies to reject claims of abuses. Apple was asked by the Chinese government to censor Uyghur-related news apps among others, on its devices sold in China. After Apple and Samsung condemned the Uyghur genocide, it underwent boycotts in China, causing sales throughout the country to decrease significantly.

Medical experiments

Doctor reveals harrowing medical experiments in Chinese concentration camps

Yahoo News, Sept. 2020

A doctor has made a series of startling claims about forced abortion and womb removal being carried out by Chinese authorities in its Uyghur prison camps.

The woman, a resident of Turkey and a Uyghur Muslim, spoke to ITV News under confidentiality, revealing the horror she witnessed inside the camps.

There have been ongoing claims against the Chinese government for its treatment of the Uyghur and ethnic Turkic minorities in the western Xinjiang region of the country.

Security cameras are installed above the perimeter fence of what is officially known as a vocational skills education centre in Dabancheng, in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China.
Security cameras at what is officially known as a vocational skills education centre in Dabancheng, in Xinjiang. Source: Reuters

Many have allegedly been forced into detention camps, which the Chinese government calls re-education camps. The woman, a gynecologist, told the British news program that she worked for the Chinese government as part of population control. “The clear intention was ethnic cleansing,” she told ITV News.

The woman, who has since fled China, claims she participated in between 500-600 operations on Uyghur women including forced womb removal, forced sterilisation and forced abortion. In a harrowing interview, the doctor said on at least one occasion a baby was still moving when it was put into a garbage bin.

The doctor shared her account of the camps with the broadcaster. Source: iTVnews
The doctor shared her account of the camps with the broadcaster. Source: iTVnews


The allegations of forced birth control are backed by research conducted by the Associated Press into the murky world of China’s concentration camps. Mirehmet Ablet, also a Uyghur Muslim, is among those who have left China due to the “crackdown” on its Muslim minority by the Chinese Communist in the past decade. He told Yahoo News Australia in July that his brother went missing in 2017 and he believes he is still languishing in one of the camps.

After years of silence, Mr Ablet has decided to speak publicly about his brother’s case in a last-ditch effort to save his life. “This is the last chance for us, this is the best way, to make it public, it’s our last chance to save him,” Mr Ablet told Yahoo News Australia. “Time to make it public otherwise I might lose my brother.”

Uyghur Human Rights Project chairman Nury Turkel shares what he sees as China’s human rights abuses against its Muslim Uyghur population, saying what the government is calling ‘reeducation camps’ are much closer to ‘concentration camps.’

British human rights lawyer Geoffrey Nice, who previously led the prosecution of ex-Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic over the Balkans war and worked with the International Criminal Court, has been asked by the World Uyghur Congress to investigate “ongoing atrocities and possible genocide” against the Uyghur people.

Organisers are in the initial stages of gathering evidence, and expect to receive a substantial number of submissions from Uyghurs exiled abroad over the next few months. New evidence that may emerge includes testimony from several former security guards who were involved in the Xinjiang detention camps.

People line up at the Artux City Vocational Skills Education Training Service Center at the Kunshan Industrial Park in Artux in western China's Xinjiang region.
People at the Artux City Vocational Skills Education Training Service Centre in western China’s Xinjiang region. Source: AAP

Organized mass rape and sexual torture

BBC News and other sources reported accounts of organized mass rape and sexual torture carried out by Chinese authorities in the internment camps.

Multiple women who were formerly detained in the Xinjiang internment camps have publicly made accusations of systemic sexual abuse, including rape, gang rape, and sexual torture, such as forced vaginal and anal penetrations with electric batons and rubbing chili pepper paste on genitals.

Sayragul Sauytbay, a teacher who was forced to work in the camps, told the BBC that employees of the internment camp in which she was detained conducted rapes en masse, saying that camp guards “picked the girls and young women they wanted and took them away”. She also told the BBC of organized gang rape, in which a woman around age 21 was forced to make a confession in front of a crowd of 100 other women detained in the camps, before being raped by multiple policemen in front of the assembled crowd.

In 2018, a Globe and Mail interview with Sauytbay indicated that she did not personally see violence at the camp, but did witness malnourishment and a complete lack of freedom. Tursunay Ziawudun, a woman who was detained in the internment camps for a period of nine months, told the BBC that women were removed from their cells every night to be raped by Chinese men in masks and that she was subjected to three separate instances of gang rape while detained.

In an earlier interview, Ziawudun reported that while she “wasn’t beaten or abused” while in the camps, she was instead subjected to long interrogations, forced to watch propaganda, had her hair cut, was under constant surveillance, and kept in cold conditions with poor food, leading to her developing anemia. Qelbinur Sedik, an Uzbek woman from Xinjiang, has stated that Chinese police sexually abused detainees during electric shock tortures, saying that “there were four kinds of electric shock… the chair, the glove, the helmet, and anal rape with a stick”.

Chinese government officials deny all allegations that there have been any human rights abuses within the internment camps. Reuters reported in March 2021 that Chinese government officials also disclosed personal medical information of women witnesses in an effort to discredit them.

In February 2021, the BBC released an extensive report which alleged that systematic sexual abuse was taking place within the camps. The gang rapes and sexual torture were alleged to be part of a systemic rape culture that included both policemen and those from outside the camps who pay for time with the prettiest girls.[211] CNN reported in February 2021 about a worker and several former female inmates which survived the camps; they provided details about murder, torture, and rape in the camps, which they described as routinely occurring.

Outside internment camps

IUDs and birth control

China performs regular pregnancy checks on hundreds of thousands of minority women within Xinjiang. Zenz reported that 80% of new Chinese IUD placements (insertions minus removals) in 2018 occurred in Xinjiang, despite the region constituting only 1.8% of the country’s population. Zenz reported that birth rates in counties whose majority population consists of ethnic minorities began to fall in 2015, “the very year that the government began to single out the link between population growth and ‘religious extremism'”. Prior to the recent drops in birth rates, the Uyghur population had had a growth rate 2.6 times that of the Han between 2005 and 2015.

According to a fax provided to CNN by the Xinjiang regional government, birth rates in the Xinjiang region fell by 32.68% from 2017 to 2018.  In 2019, the birth rates fell by 24% year over year, a significantly greater drop than the 4.2% decline in births experienced across the entire People’s Republic of China. According to Zenz, population growth rates in the two largest Uyghur prefectures in Xinjiang, Kashgar, and Hotan, fell by 84% between 2015 and 2018.

According to Adrian Zenz, Chinese government documents mandate that birth control violations of Uyghurs are punishable by extrajudicial internment.

Also in 2019, The Heritage Foundation reported that officials forced Uyghur women to take unknown drugs and liquids that caused them to lose consciousness, and sometimes caused them to stop menstruating. In 2020, public reporting continued to indicate that large-scale compulsory sterilization was being carried out, with the Associated Press reporting a “widespread and systematic” practice of forcing Uyghur and other ethnic minority women to take birth control medication in the Xinjiang region. Many women stated that they were forced to receive contraceptive implants.

Regional authorities do not dispute the decrease in birth rates but deny that genocide and forced sterilization is occurring; Xinjiang authorities maintain that the decrease in birth rates is due to “the comprehensive implementation of the family planning policy.”

The Chinese Embassy in the United States said the policy was positive and empowering for Uyghur women, writing that, “in the process of eradicating extremism, the minds of Uygur women were emancipated and gender equality and reproductive health were promoted, making them no longer baby-making machines. They are more confident and independent.” Twitter removed the tweet for violating its policies.

Forced cohabitation, co-sleeping, rape, and abortion

Beginning in 2018, over one million Chinese government workers began forcibly living in the homes of Uyghur families to monitor and assess resistance to assimilation, as well as to watch for frowned-upon religious and cultural practices.

The “Pair Up and Become Family” program assigned Han Chinese men to monitor the homes of Uyghurs and sleep in the same beds as Uyghur women. According to Radio Free Asia, these Han Chinese government workers were trained to call themselves “relatives” and forcibly engaged in co-habitation of Uyghur homes for the purpose of promoting “ethnic unity.” Radio Free Asia reports that these men “regularly sleep in the same beds as the wives of men detained in the region’s internment camps.” Chinese officials maintained that co-sleeping is acceptable, provided that a distance of one meter is maintained between the women and the “relative” assigned to the Uyghur home. Uyghur activists state that no such restraint takes place, citing pregnancy and forced marriage numbers, and name the program a campaign of “mass rape disguised as ‘marriage’.” Human Rights Watch has condemned the program as a “deeply invasive forced assimilation practice”, while the World Uyghur Congress states that it represents the “total annihilation of the safety, security and well-being of family members.”

A 37-year-old pregnant woman from the Xinjiang region said that she attempted to give up her Chinese citizenship to live in Kazakhstan but was told by the Chinese government that she needed to come back to China to complete the process. She alleges that officials seized the passports of her and her two children before coercing her into receiving an abortion to prevent her brother from being detained in an internment camp.

A book by Guo Rongxing on the unrest in Xinjiang states that the 1990 Baren Township riot protests were the result of 250 forced abortions imposed upon local Uyghur women by the Chinese government.

Organ harvesting

Ethan Gutmann states that organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience became prevalent when members of the Uyghur ethnic group were targeted in security crackdowns and “strike hard campaigns” during the 1990s. According to Gutmann, organ harvesting from Uyghur prisoners dropped off by 1999 with members of the Falun Gong religious group overtaking the Uyghurs as a source of organs.

In the 2010s, concerns about organ harvesting from Uyghurs resurfaced. According to a unanimous determination by the China Tribunal in May 2020, China has persecuted and medically tested Uyghurs. Its report expressed concerns that Uyghurs were vulnerable to being subject to organ harvesting but did not yet have evidence of its occurrence. In November 2020, Gutmann told RFA that a former hospital in Atsu, China, which had been converted into a Xinjiang internment camp, would allow local officials to streamline the organ harvesting process and provide a steady stream of harvested organs from Uyghurs. Later, in December 2020, human rights activists and independent researchers told Haaretz that individuals detained in the Xinjiang internment camps “are being murdered and their organs harvested.”

At that time, Gutmann told Haaretz that he estimates that at least 25,000 Uyghurs are killed in Xinjiang for their organs each year and that crematoria have been recently built in the province in order to more easily dispose of victims’ bodies. Gutmann said that “fast lanes” were created for the movement of human organs in local airports.

In 2020, a Chinese woman said that Uyghurs were slaughtered on-demand to provide halal organs for primarily Saudi customers. She said that in one such instance in 2006, 37 Saudi clients received organs from killed Uyghurs at the Department of Liver Transplantation of Tianjin Taida Hospital. Dr. Enver Tohti, a former oncology surgeon in Xinjiang, supported the allegations.

Organ harvesting; painting by Falun Gong
Forum Reviews the Evidence of Forced Organ Harvesting in China

Forced labor

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese government has imposed forced labor conditions on Uyghurs.

In January 2020, videos began to surface on Douyin showing large numbers of Uyghurs being placed into airplanes, trains, and busses for transportation to forced factory labor programs. In March 2020, the Chinese government was found to be using the Uyghur minority as forced sweatshop labor. According to a report published by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), no fewer than 80,000 Uyghurs were forcibly removed from Xinjiang for purposes of forced labor in at least twenty-seven factories around China.

According to the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, a UK-based charity, corporations such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Adidas, Amazon, Apple, BMW, Fila, Gap, H&M, Inditex, Marks & Spencer, Nike, North Face, Puma, PVH, Samsung, and Uniqlo sourced from these factories. Over 570,000 Uyghurs are forced to pick cotton by hand in Xinjiang. According to an archived report from Nankai University, the Chinese forced labor system is designed to reduce Uyghur population density.

In total, the Chinese government has relocated more than 600,000 Uyghurs to industrial workplaces as a part of their forced labor programs.

Outside China

China has been accused of coordinating efforts to coerce Uyghurs living overseas into returning to China, using family still in China to pressure members of the diaspora not to make trouble. Chinese officials deny these accusations; the government of China regularly denies its role in the abuses of the Uyghur genocide.

China’s robust surveillance system extends overseas, with a special emphasis placed on monitoring the Uyghur diaspora. According to the MIT Technology Review, “China’s hacking of Uyghurs is so aggressive that it is effectively global, extending far beyond the country’s own borders. It targets journalists, dissidents, and anyone who raises Beijing’s suspicions of insufficient loyalty.”

In March 2021 Facebook reported that hackers based in China had been conducting cyberespionage against members of the Uyghur diaspora.

Uyghurs in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia have been detained and deported back to China, sometimes separating families. CNN reported in June 2021 that “rights activists fear that even as Western nations take China to task over its treatment of Uyghurs, countries in the Middle East and beyond will increasingly be willing to acquiesce to its crackdown on members of the ethnic group at home and abroad.” According to the Associated Press, “Dubai also has a history as a place where Uyghurs are interrogated and deported back to China.”

A joint report from the Uyghur Human Rights Project and the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs found 1,546 of cases Uyghurs being detained and deported at the behest of Chinese authorities in 28 countries from 1997 to March 2021.

Use of biometric and surveillance technology

Chinese authorities use biometric technology to track individuals. According to Yahir Imin, Chinese authorities drew his blood, scanned his face, recorded his fingerprints, and documented his voice. China collects genetic material from millions of Uyghurs. China uses facial recognition technology to sort people by ethnicity and uses DNA to tell if an individual is an Uyghur. China has been accused of creating “technologies used for hunting people.”

In 2017, security-related construction tripled in Xinjiang. Charles Rollet stated, “projects include not only security cameras but also video analytics hubs, intelligent monitoring systems, big data centers, police checkpoints, and even drones.” Drone manufacturer DJI began providing surveillance drones to local police in 2017. The Ministry of Public Security invested billions of dollars in two government plans: the Skynet project (天网工程) and the Sharp Eyes project (雪亮工程).

These two projects attempted to use facial recognition to “resolutely achieve no blind spots, no gaps, no blank spots” by 2020. According to Morgan Stanley, by 2020, 400 million surveillance cameras were to be operating. Chinese start-ups including SenseTime, CloudWalk, Yitu, Megvii, and Hikvision built algorithms to allow the Chinese government to track the Muslim minority group.

In July 2020, the United States Department of Commerce sanctioned 11 Chinese firms, including two subsidiaries of BGI Group, for violating the human rights of Uyghur Muslims, by exploiting their DNA. BGI Group along with Abu Dhabi-based AI and cloud computing firm Group 42 – accused of espionage in 2019 – were named by the US departments of Homeland Security and State in an October 2020 warning issued to Nevada against the use of the 200,000 COVID-19 test kits donated by UAE under the partnership of G42 and the BGI Group. US intelligence agencies warned foreign powers who were exploiting patients’ medical samples to dig into their medical history, genetic traits, and illnesses.

Biometric data

Around 2013, Xinjiang Party Secretary Chen Quanguo launched “Physicals for All”, purportedly a medical care program. “Every Xinjiang resident between the ages of twelve and 65” was required to provide DNA samples. Also collected were data on “blood types, fingerprints, voice-prints, iris patterns.” Officials in Tumxuk gathered hundreds of blood samples. Tumxuk was named a “major battlefield for Xinjiang’s security work” by the state news media. In January 2018, a forensic DNA lab overseen by the Institute of Forensic Science of China was built there. Lab documents showed that it used software created by Thermo Fisher Scientific, a Massachusetts company. This software was used in correspondence to create genetic sequencers, helpful in analyzing DNA. In response, Thermo Fisher declared in February that it would cease sales to the Xinjiang region as a result of “fact-specific assessments”.

GPS tracking of cars

Security officials ordered residents in China’s northwest region to install GPS tracking devices in their vehicles, allowing authorities to track their movements. Authorities said that it “is necessary to counteract the activities of Islamist extremists and separatists”. An announcement from officials in Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture proclaimed that “there is a severe threat from international terrorism, and cars have been used as a key means of transport for terrorists as well as constantly serving as weapons. It is, therefore, necessary to monitor and track all vehicles in the prefecture.”

Classification of abuses

Special purpose tribunals, scholars, commentators, journalists, governments, politicians, and diplomats from many countries have labeled China’s actions variously as genocide, cultural genocide, ethnocide and/or crimes against humanity.

Ethnocide or cultural genocide

In 2008, Michael Clarke, an Australian terrorism scholar, noted that “there has emerged within the Uighur émigré community a tendency to portray the Uighurs as experiencing a form of ‘cultural genocide'”, citing as an example a 2004 speech by World Uyghur Congress president Erkin Alptekin. In a 2012 Wall Street Journal op-ed, Uyghur activist Rebiya Kadeer described the CCP following “policies of Uighur cultural genocide.” In 2018, UCL human rights scholar Kate Cronin-Furman argued in 2018 that the Chinese state policies constituted cultural genocide.

In July 2019, German academic Adrian Zenz wrote in the Journal of Political Risk that the situation in Xinjiang constituted a cultural genocide; his research was later cited by BBC News and other news organizations. James Leibold, a professor at Australia’s La Trobe University, in July 2019 called the treatment of Uyghurs by the Chinese government a “cultural genocide” and stated that “in their own words, party officials are ‘washing brains’ and ‘cleansing hearts’ to ‘cure’ those bewitched by extremist thoughts.” The term was used in editorials, for instance in the Washington Post, at this point.

Since the release of the Xinjiang papers and the China Cables in November 2019, various journalists and researchers have called the Chinese government’s treatment of Uyghurs an ethnocide or a cultural genocide. In November 2019, Zenz described the classified documents as confirming “that this is a form of cultural genocide.” Foreign Policy published an article by Azeem Ibrahim in which he called the Chinese treatment of Uyghurs a “deliberate and calculated campaign of cultural genocide” after the release of the Xinjiang papers and China Cables.

Since June 2020, scholars, commentators, and lawyers have increasingly referred to the human rights situation in Xinjiang as a genocide, rather than a cultural genocide.

Crimes against humanity

In June 2019, the China Tribunal, an independent judicial investigation into forced organ transplantation in China concluded that crimes against humanity had been committed beyond reasonable doubt against China’s Uyghur Muslim and Falun Gong populations.

The Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect at the University of Queensland concluded in November that evidence of atrocities in Xinjiang “likely meets the requirements of the following crimes against humanity: persecution, imprisonment, enforced disappearance, torture, forced sterilization, and enslavement” and that “It is arguable that genocidal acts have occurred in Xinjiang, in particular acts of imposing measures to prevent births and forcible transfers. In December, lawyers David Matas and Sarah Teich wrote in Toronto Star that “One distressing present-day example [of genocide] is the atrocities faced by the Uighur population in Xinjiang, China.”

Canada

In July 2020, The Globe and Mail reported that human rights activists, including retired politician Irwin Cotler, were encouraging the Parliament of Canada to recognize the Chinese actions against Uyghurs as genocide and impose sanctions on the officials responsible.

On 21 October 2020, the Subcommittee on International Human Rights (SDIR) of the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development condemned the persecution of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang by the Government of China and concluded that the Chinese Communist Party’s actions amount to the genocide of the Uyghurs per the Genocide Convention.

On 22 February 2021, the Canadian House of Commons voted 266–0 to approve a motion that formally recognizes China as committing genocide against its Muslim minorities.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet did not vote. [bold added for emphasis]

China’s Ambassador to Canada responded to the motion by calling the allegations of genocide and forced labor the “lie of the century.” In June 2021, Canada’s Senate voted 29-33 against a motion to recognize the treatment of Uyghurs as genocide and to call for the 2022 Winter Olympics to be moved out of China should such treatment continue.

On 11 April 2021, Canada issued a travel advisory stating that individuals with “familial or ethnic ties” could be “at risk of arbitrary detention” by Chinese authorities when traveling in the Xinjiang region. Radio Canada International reported that the announcement described that China had been “increasingly detaining ethnic and Muslim minorities in the region without due process.”

United States

UN counter-terrorism chief Vladimir Voronkov visited Xinjiang in June 2019. The visit prompted anger from the U.S. State Department. The U.S. has called these visits “highly choreographed” and characterized them as having “propagated false narratives.”

In 2020, the United States Congress passed the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act in reaction to the internment camps. Lawmakers also proposed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act requiring the assumption that all Xinjiang goods are made with forced labor and therefore banned. In September 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security blocked imports of products from five entities in Xinjiang to combat the use of forced labor, while shelving broader proposed bans. A senior US diplomat called upon other countries to join the United States denunciations against the Chinese government’s policies in Xinjiang. Senators Cornyn, Merkley, Cardin, and Rubio signed a letter to request Mike Pompeo, the United States Secretary of State, to issue a determination of genocide.

The National Review reports that “U.S. government genocide determinations are an incredibly tricky thing. They require solid evidence to meet the criteria set out under the 1948 Genocide Convention.” When determinations are issued there isn’t much change or an effect that they will bring in the short run. Although, “there’s a strong, well-documented case for a determination in this case.”

As of November 2020, US Senators Menendez and Cornyn are leading a bipartisan group to recognize the CCP’s actions in Xinjiang as a genocide by way of a Senate resolution, which would make the United States Senate the first government to “officially recognize the situation as a genocide.”

On 19 January 2021, Pompeo announced that the United States Department of State had determined that “genocide and crimes against humanity” had been perpetrated by China against the Uyghurs, with Pompeo stating: “the People’s Republic of China, under the direction and control of the Chinese Communist Party, has committed genocide and crimes against humanity against the predominantly Muslim Uighurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups, including ethnic Kazakhs and Kyrgyz… [i]n the anguished cries from Xinjiang, the U.S. hears the echoes of Nazi Germany, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.” The announcement was made on the last full day of the Donald Trump presidency.

At the end of the Trump presidency, the incoming Biden administration had already declared as the Joe Biden 2020 presidential campaign that such a determination should be made and that America would continue to recognize the Xinjiang activity as a genocide.

[That is at least one thing Biden did correctly, though since then he has been more complicit, stating that the genocide is part of China’s “cultural norms”]

 On 16 February 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden commented in a CNN town hall meeting in Wisconsin that Xi Jinping’s rationale for justifying his policies, the idea that there “must be a united, tightly controlled China”, derives from the fact that “Culturally, there are different norms that each country and their leaders are expected to follow.” He also promised in the same meeting that “there will be repercussions for China” for its human rights violations. Some sources interpreted Biden’s statements as excusing Chinese policy towards Uyghurs on cultural relativist grounds, whereas an opposite view deemed it a misrepresentation.

In July 2021 while speaking at the Singaporean branch of the International Institute for Strategic Studies American Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin remarked on “genocide and crimes against humanity against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.”

Denial

The abuses against the Uyghur and related ethnic groups have been denied by the Chinese government. These denials have been both internal and external. The Chinese government has conducted propaganda campaigns on social media to further denial of the abuses.

In 2021 the Chinese government posted thousands of videos to social media purporting to show residents of Xinjiang debunking claims of abuse made by Mike Pompeo, these videos were produced by the government propaganda department.

In 2020 the Chinese ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming denied the abuses in Xinjiang when confronted with evidence of them during an interview with the BBC. The ambassador blamed reports of abuse on “some small group of anti-China elements.”

The abuses, and even the existence of the camp network, have also been denied by some US based leftist media outlets. The first such group to do so was a small left-wing blog called LA Progressive which began publishing denial articles in April 2020, while The Grayzone has been the most influential outlet to publish such claims.

The Grayzone has also been featured by Chinese state media, including CGTN and the Global Times. In 2020 Hua Chunying retweeted a story published by The Grayzone which claimed to have debunked research into the internment camps in Xinjiang.

[NB – There is a parallel here with the denialism and complicity of the Western Fabian socialists, such as G. B. Shaw, back in the 1930s in response to Stalin’s man-made famine and mass arrests and purges. They denied or downplayed it.]

(5) Corporate Complicity in China’s Genocide: Where US Brands Go from Here

by Noah Zoroya, Centre for Security Policy Studies,
George Mason University,

[NB – This is a call for corporations to take a stronger stand on this issue, rather continue to be complicit and/or silent.]

Genocides happen in silence. In 1975, Cambodia fell into a full media blackout as the Khmer Rouge stormed Phnom Penh. News to the outside world came to a halt and Pol Pot’s murderous regime tightened its grip. Over the next four years, nearly two million Cambodians perished.

Except for rumors and scattered refugee reports, the rest of the world was oblivious. Today, a new genocide is underway against the Uighurs—a Muslim minority that resides in China’s Northwest Xinjiang Province.

US companies with supply chains in China face a choice: turn a blind eye to genocide and the Uighur forced labor within their supply chains or comply with new US regulation that targets products of forced labor . . .

Upon ridding supply chains of forced labor—as mandated by recent and coming US regulation—firms should market their products “genocide free.” To take their credibility one step further, firms can donate a portion of the profits to an organization like the Save Uighur Campaign, an NGO that seeks to provoke government action.   

In doing so, the biggest risk is China’s response. In the past, China punished companies over seemingly innocuous transgressions. For example, in 2018, Marriott’s website listed Tibet and Taiwan as sovereign nations. China blocked access to its website until Marriott changed the listing.

Any new violator may land on China’s blacklist, created in the midst of its US trade war. Also, firms could end up in Chinese court. China released a set of rules that holds multinational firms legally responsible for Chinese losses resulting from US restrictions. Brand-based criticism of China is uncharted territory, but that immense risk raises a brand’s credibility in the eyes of consumers.

Cambodia’s genocide happened in silence, but just over a decade later when Slobodan Milošević led a genocide against Bosnian Muslims—the world watched in horror. Blanket media coverage made clear every aspect of suffering. The American public was horrified. The American demand for action was deafening.

Everyday citizens called on representatives, bureaucrats resigned in disgust over US inaction, and politicians of both parties decried first a Republican then a Democratic president. From a landing strip in Sarajevo, Senator Joe Biden condemned the international community’s weak response, stating “collective security means arranging to blame one another for inaction so that everyone has an excuse. It does not mean standing together; it means hiding together.”

To address genocide, there must be a critical mass of concerned constituents. Lawmakers are more likely to act—even on far away matters of foreign policy—when the American public is made to care. This is where brands can make an impact. A cause marketing campaign can educate and inform. It spreads the word that genocide is happening right now and compels Americans to demand government action. Thus far, the US has leveled trade restrictions and called China’s crimes for what they are—genocide. However, many policy options remain unused.

The President can call on allies to level further trade restrictions against China. Australia and the UK have explored sanctions and twelve Japanese companies ceased business with complicit Chinese firms after public pressure, but the EU remains a huge importer of Xinjiang goods.

The United States can threaten to pull out of the 2022 Beijing Olympics unless China ceases its assault on the Uighurs. China cares deeply about its public image. Losing face on such a stage would send a clear message that resonates. Companies, through adept branding, can elevate issues to the forefront of the public discourse. They have the power to further a critical conversation.

The clock is ticking. Every multinational firm has overlooked the Uighurs. This is an important opportunity for proactive firms to set their products apart from the pack by addressing a crisis and building a better brand. Two birds, one cause-driven stone. The moment is theirs for the taking.

_______________________________________________________________

(6) Biden dismisses Uighur genocide as part of China’s ‘different norms’

by Emily Jacobs, New York Post, Feb. 17, 2021

President Biden is dismissing the genocide against the Uighur population in China, dubbing the mass internment a “different norm” — despite the State Department this month responding to “atrocities” in the camps, following reports of systemic rape and torture.

The commander-in-chief made the remarks after being asked during his CNN town hall Tuesday evening about his recent conversation with his Chinese counterpart, starting his response by relaying Xi’s justification for the abuses.

“If you know anything about Chinese history, it has always been, the time when China has been victimized by the outer world is when they haven’t been unified at home,” Biden began. “So the central — well, vastly overstated — the central principle of Xi Jinping is that there must be a united, tightly controlled China. And he uses his rationale for the things he does based on that.”

China, a nation that has faced a wave of international scrutiny over the past few years relating to its activities in dismantling democracy in Hong Kong and its refusal to accept responsibility for negligence and a lack of transparency at the onset of the coronavirus outbreak, has not let global tensions stop its mass internment of Uighurs in Xinjiang province.

This building in China is believed to be a re-education camp where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained.
This building in China is believed to be a re-education camp where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained. The “norms” in China include systemic torture and rape occurring in Uighur concentration camps, according to a BBC exposé.

President Biden continued in his response that he is “not going to speak out against” the Chinese Communist Party’s belligerent actions in Hong Kong, against the Uighurs, or in Taiwan. 

“I point out to him no American president can be sustained as a president if he doesn’t reflect the values of the United States,” the US president continued. “And so the idea that I am not going to speak out against what he’s doing in Hong Kong, what he’s doing with the Uighurs in western mountains of China and Taiwan — trying to end the one-China policy by making it forceful … [Xi] gets it.”

see also State Department responds to reported mass rapes in Chinese Uighur camps

“Culturally there are different norms that each country and their leaders are expected to follow,” he continued.

The “norms” in China, as shown in a recent BBC News exposé, include systemic torture and rape occurring in Uighur concentration camps.

Following the release of the BBC report, China banned the outlet in its territory.

Asked during the town hall whether there would be repercussions for the CCP over the genocide, Biden sidestepped the question, saying the US would “reassert our role as spokespersons for human rights at the UN and other agencies.”

“Well, there will be repercussions for China and [Xi] knows that. What I’m doing is, making clear that we, in fact, are going to continue to reassert our role as spokespersons for human rights at the UN and other agencies that have an impact on their attitude,” he said.

Asked if China was not already too powerful to be stopped from its appalling human rights practices, Biden expressed confidence that human rights would win the day.

“China is trying very hard to become the world leader. And to get that moniker and be able to do that, they have to gain the confidence of other countries. And as long as they are engaged in activity that is contrary to basic human rights, it’s going to be hard for them to do that.

“But it’s much more complicated than that, I shouldn’t try to talk China policy in 10 minutes on television here.”

A White House spokesperson could not immediately be reached by The Post for comment.

During his confirmation hearings last month, Secretary of State Antony Blinken concurred specifically with outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in identifying the Chinese government’s treatment of Uighur Muslims as a “genocide” and said that “there’s been a strong and long bipartisan commitment to Taiwan … [and] the commitment to Taiwan is something that we hold to very strongly.”

Biden has not publicly acknowledged receiving a congratulatory phone call from Taiwan’s president.

(7) Leaked Chinese document on Uyghur Muslims show people detained for veil, beard or clicking on foreign website

Bangladesh Live News, 18 Feb 2020

A leaked Chinese government document has shown how issues, like growing a beard, wearing a veil or accidentally visiting a foreign website, were among the justifications shown to send Uyghur Muslims to China’s detention camps in Xinjiang province. The documents showed that the camps are not schools as often referred by the Chinese government.

The 137-page spreadsheet, which has been accessed and published by the BBC, contains how often people pray, how they dress, whom they contact and how their family members behave.

China has repeatedly denied wrongdoing in connection with the camps and said it is fighting against terrorism and religious extremism.

The document is said to have come, at considerable personal risk, from the same source inside Xinjiang that leaked a batch of highly sensitive materials published last year, reports BBC.

One of the world’s leading experts on China’s policies in Xinjiang, Dr Adrian Zenz, a senior fellow at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in Washington, believes the latest leak is genuine.

“This remarkable document presents the strongest evidence I’ve seen to date that Beijing is actively persecuting and punishing normal practices of traditional religious beliefs,” he told BBC.

One of the camps mentioned in it, the “Number Four Training Centre” has been identified by Dr Zenz as among those visited by the BBC as part of a tour organized by the Chinese authorities in May last year.

Much of the evidence uncovered by the BBC team appears to be corroborated by the new document, redacted for publication to protect the privacy of those included in it.

It contains details of the investigations into 311 main individuals, listing their backgrounds, religious habits, and relationships with many hundreds of relatives, neighbours, and friends, reported the British media.

In the BBC report, it mentioned several instances and grounds for sending an individual to the camps.

Row 598 contains the case of a 38-year-old woman with the first name Helchem, sent to a re-education camp for one main reason: she was known to have worn a veil some years ago. It is just one of a number of cases of arbitrary, retrospective punishment. Others were interned simply for applying for a passport – proof that even the intention to travel abroad is now seen as a sign of radicalization in Xinjiang, reports BBC.

It also mentioned the case of a person who was put into the camp for merely surfing the internet and landing in a foreign website unintentionally.

And then there’s the 28-year-old man Nurmemet in row 239, put into re-education for “clicking on a web-link and unintentionally landing on a foreign website”, reports BBC.

Incidentally, the 311 main individuals, who have been listed, are all from Karakax County. The county is located close to the city of Hotan in southern Xinjiang. The area has more than 90 percent Uyghur of the total population.

The “Karakax List”, as Dr Zenz calls the document, encapsulates the way the Chinese state now views almost any expression of religious belief as a signal of disloyalty.

To root out that perceived disloyalty, he told BBC, the state has had to find ways to penetrate deep into Uyghur homes and hearts.

The Karakax List appears to be the most substantial evidence of the way this detailed information gathering has been used to sweep people into the camps, reported BBC.

It reveals, for example, how China has used the concept of “guilt by association” to incriminate and detain whole extended family networks in Xinjiang, reported the British media.

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Ungekrzte

"Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed immaturity ... the inability to use one's own understanding without another's guidance. This immaturity is self-imposed if its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one's own mind without another's guidance. Dare to know! (Sapere aude.) "Have the courage to use your own understanding," is therefore the motto of the [European] Enlightenment. "Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why such a large part of mankind gladly remain minors all their lives, long after nature has freed them from external guidance. They are the reasons why it is so easy for others to set themselves up as guardians. It is so comfortable to be a minor. If I have a book that thinks for me, a pastor who acts as my conscience, a physician who prescribes my diet [or vaccine], and so on--then I have no need to exert myself. I have no need to think, if only I can pay; others will take care of that disagreeable business for me. Those guardians who have kindly taken supervision upon themselves see to it that the overwhelming majority of mankind ... should consider the step to maturity, not only as hard, but as extremely dangerous. First, these guardians make their domestic cattle stupid and carefully prevent the docile creatures from taking a single step without the leading-strings to which they have fastened them. Then they show them the danger that would threaten them if they should try to walk by themselves. Now this danger is really not very great; after stumbling a few times they would, at last, learn to walk. However, examples of such failures intimidate and generally discourage all further attempts. "Thus it is very difficult for the individual to work himself out of the immaturity which has become almost second nature to him. He has even grown to like it, and is at first really incapable of using his own understanding because he has never been permitted to try it. Dogmas and formulas [e.g., Leftist ideology, identity politics] these mechanical tools designed for reasonable use--or rather abuse--of his natural gifts, are the fetters of an everlasting immaturity. The man who casts them off would make an uncertain leap over the narrowest ditch, because he is not used to such free movement. That is why there are only a few men who walk firmly, and who have emerged from immaturity by cultivating their own minds." - Kant, "An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment"

2 thoughts on “On China’s mass internment and genocide of the Uyghur ethnic minority”

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