During this course, we’ve come across the topic regarding Human Rights, and I think it’s important to mention the human right’s abuse in China, and in particular in the Xinjiang region, where the ethnic minority group called Uyghurs being sent to concentration camps for “re-education”. Approximately 120″,000 Uyghur-Muslim people are now sent to this “re-educational” camps(unofficial numbers are larger) at the city of Kashgar. This is the news from CNN with the reference to Radio Free Asia. In one of the biggest regions of PRC, where the majority of the population practicing Islam are now forced to renounce their religion and sing red propaganda songs, praising Mao and Xi and forbidding them to speak their mother tongue in favor of Chinese. When I was studying in China a couple of years ago I’ve had a pleasure of meeting lovely people from Xinjiang who were Uyghurs. As a part of AISEC project, we had to teach English to the kids who come from the rural area. Their role was to help foreign teachers in the class and assist in translating some of the content to Chinese. And even though their native language wasn’t Chinese, they spoke it fluently. Although now China claims that there is no abuse whatsoever happening in Xinjiang and that Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities have full freedom in choosing their religion or language and enjoying strong economic growth, it is very clear that China’s government policy is aimed at destroying Uyghur’s identity and ethnic heritage, and the most disruptive fact in this story is that most world leaders not even paying attention.
“Scholars around the globe made a statement that the world governments should hit China with sanctions over the mass detentions of Uyghurs” – said the Reuters. In August of the last year U.N. human rights panel stated that a dozen of credible reports have been received regarding a fact that a million or more Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities are being held in what resembles a “massive internment camp that is shrouded in secrecy” in the province. Representatives from a group of 278 scholars stated that no country or government in the world should ever prosecute any of its citizens simply according to their ethnicity or religious belief. They also assert that the world governments should expedite asylum requests from Xinjiang’s Muslim minorities. I will not go through every section of that statement, and if anyone is willing to read it, the links will be provided at the end of this paper.
Right now XUAR is basically a police state designed to control 10 million of Uyghurs which now make 45 percent of the population. They descendence is closer to the people of Central Asia such as Kazakhs, Kyrgyzs and Uzbeks. They share the same tradition and almost similar language. But over the course of history with a help of government Han ethnicity has migrated to Xinjiang to stir the ethnical pot and slowly eradicate Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities who can potentially stand up against communist party ideology. Over 7300 police stations have been established over the course of 10 years. That is all because of the most recent and bloody incident that happened in 2009 in the region’s capital Urumqi when more than 200 people got killed and many more got injured. But let’s look into the reason of why did that happen. As I’ve already mentioned when the civil war ended and communists took over, they’ve helped the Han population to move to Xinjiang and establish new businesses and enterprises. But what newspapers or media won’t tell you is that Uyghurs were left out of the job sector, all the money was flowing to Hans, and the locals were getting poorer and poorer while the prices for basic staples were rising. Of course, Uyghurs felt outcasted and as a consequence mass protest broke out taking the lives of innocent people from both sides. The government also forced citizens to install the mobile app(净网卫士) to scan the phone for digital fingerprints of illicit files and notify the authority if it finds them. China was exploiting Uyghurs culture to boost tourism while suppressing people who make it. Now at mosques, they have red flag and Xi’s portrait to pray to and the version of Koran(Muslim’s Holly book) is also altered to fit the party ideology. Before entering the mosque you getting the iris scan and a full body search. All the data being collected and sent to the main database where the AI analyzing it and looking for patterns to identify, what group should it assign you. The result is being sent to an ID card with the “social points” attached to it. This is another of Xi’s inventions – Social Credit System. It analyzes every citizen of PRC and creates a profile for everyone with the points balance that later will be used as a person tries to enter the shop, or take a loan from the bank or even receive medical treatment. But one might ask: “Why now?”. Why all of this is happening so fast now? The answer to that question is that China now is at the preliminary stage of constructing the Silk Road Economic Belt(SREB) – a multi-trillion project that will connect Asia and Europe and thus making the process of trading with China easier and bringing the desired growth to Chinese economy which is now stagnant due to American-Chinese trade wars and other factors. As we know the SREB will have two main paths: one will be operating on land and the other one on sea. The one that is going to be overland will then divide into six subpaths, all of which will go through Xinjiang. As the result, China needs a strong foothold in that region. However, there is another cause of all these atrocities – Xinjiang’s extreme opulence in fossil fuels. I think there is no need to go over raw numbers, but its just fair to say that they are vast. Combining these two factors with the population has zero interest in all of it and craving for independence we getting Chinese policy that resembles Nazi Germany back in the days. All this led to extreme poverty and inequality in Xinjiang among the Uyghurs and other Turkic people compare to Han settlers. Ever since some of Uyghurs feeling desperate started to join terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda. And now the Chinese government has a very convenient argument on their side, that all of the paramilitary, police stations, iris, and body scans have been justified as a part of the war on terrorism.
So, in the end, what is the conclusion on all of this. China detained approximately third of the whole Uyghur population, leaving in some areas only women and children. From those, whom they didn’t detain they took the passports making impossible for people to go abroad and seek political asylum. In some regions, it’s illegal to give to a newborn a Muslim name. Children are banned from receiving Islamic or Uyghur education. Youth under 18 are not allowed to enter the mosques. All of this started in 2016 when Chen Quanguo, a politician who was responsible for the crackdown on dissent in Tibet, was granted authority over XUAR. Currently, Xinjiang is littered with cameras which are assessing in data gathering and social points distribution. Uyghurs are forced to provide DNA samples and biometric data. A Russian journalist who had a chance to travel there and speak to locals stated in his report that it was all covered up by “free medical check-up” organized by government and which was mandatory for everyone. Around 8.5 billion was spent on this surveillance program. A logical question arises from all of this: “Why Islamic world is silent?”. After hours of surfing the vast space of the Internet, I’ve managed to come across a WikiLeaks document, stating that PRC government lobbied Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, and many others which territories the SREB will go through, to “,I quote, ”urging governments from majority-Muslim countries to refrain from official statements and control their media’s portrayal of the riots.”. Those countries will have potential billion-dollars loans, that they can invest in their infrastructure, although knowing what kind of governments are in power and what sort of people holding that power, the majority of those funds will be stolen due to the high level of corruption. Now summarizing all of these facts, it is clear that there are severe human rights are severely abused in XUAR and that the world leaders and U.N. have to do a better job and pressure China to comply with Universal Declaration of Human Rights.