FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Will Ethnocide in Western China Become Genocide?

At this moment, China has as many as one million Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other Muslim minorities held in concentration camps in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in northwestern China. This has been ongoing for some time now and is beginning, finally, to be noticed.

This unfolding tragedy is well-known by the United Nations as well as influential governments such as the United States. Thus far, little is being done to prevent the Chinese from carrying out its concerted efforts in imprisoning and politically indoctrinating its Muslim populations.

It is so objectionable that Badger Sportswear of North Carolina announced it stopped purchasing imports from that region of China due to credible reports of mass forced labor.

The Chinese government is spending huge amounts of money in Xinjiang Province where these ethnocidal horrors are taking place. These so-called “re-education camps” have been analyzed by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). The ASPI examined 28 camps in Xinjiang but stated there may be as many as 1,200 across the entire region. Since 2016, the ASPI found an increase in growth of these camps to almost 470 percent.

In 1981 the Chinese signed onto and ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), but these camps clearly violate that law.

Chinese officials also heavily police the region, using surveillance cameras and security checkpoints, biometric data collection, voice recordings, and requiring identification cards of its mostly Uighur population in Xinjiang. According to the most recent estimates, there are most likely 11,000,000 Uighurs and 1.6 million Kazakhs living in the Western Chinese Province of Xinjiang.

Perhaps the best and most extensive report about the current situation in Xinjiang is by “Human Rights Watch” (September 2018). One Uighur refugee, Tohti, is quoted as saying: “What they want is to force us to assimilate, to identify with the country [China], such that, in the future, the idea of Uyghur will be in name only, but without its meaning.” From the Human Rights Watch Report we learn the Chinese government has arbitrarily detained its Muslim minority population, and not only this, these Turkic Chinese-Muslims have been abused, tortured, and deprived of fair trials. The Chinese want to eliminate basic freedoms of religion among this population for practicing Islam. The re-education of these Turkic Muslims is meant to Sino-assimilate or “Sinicize” them with Chinese identities, scrubbing them of their religious identity.

Two other refugees told Human Rights Watch: “[The guards] told us that Uyghurs and Kazakhs are the enemies of China, and that they want to kill us, and make us suffer, and that there’s nothing we can do about it.” Another stated: “[A detainee] showed me his scar from being hung from the ceiling. He didn’t have any religious materials, but after being hung for a night, he said he would agree to anything.” Others had died while in detention and their families were not allowed to bury the dead with Islamic blessings or ceremonies and were forced to bury their loved ones under military watch.

Aside from the political aspects of Chinese social control, how do we understand this type of discrimination in relation to modern world history?

Humans are highly complex and for the most part racism is entirely a social construct, usually involving essentializing entire populations and persecuting them en masse, virtually always with a veneer of rhetoric to make it all acceptable unless we actually look. The histories are shameful. Thus, we saw all non-Europeans referred to as, what Rudyard Kipling euphemistically called them, the “white man’s burden”; Jews and Gypsies sent by Germans to labor camps with sayings such as Work is Freedom; land stolen from Native tribes in the name of “progress”; Tutsis slaughtered by Hutus to “protect” themselves from a minority; Japanese-American families rounded up into compounds in the western US during World War II to secure the homeland; and millions of Armenian civilians killed by Turkey a century ago to punish traitors, and other horrific chapters in our human story. Almost all the terrible responses in the modern era that target innocent civilians are massive overreactions to violent attack. In China, those attacks from Islamic extremists were in 2013 and 2014 and have been the official justification for mass incarceration since then.

The magnitude of China’s efforts to incarcerate its Turkic Muslim minority populations is happening in an unprecedented way, which we have not seen since Nazi Germany and the imprisonment of Jews throughout Europe. As usual, there is an official rationale and a public relations effort, including the approval of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, aka MBS, which “proves” that China’s systematic persecution of Chinese Muslims for religion is not its sole rationale.

How many more Muslim Chinese minorities need to be imprisoned before we say no more? When should the UN Security Council act in concert against China? When should the United States begin imposing economic sanctions upon China for its human rights abuses in Xinjiang northwestern China?

We know from our human history that it almost always takes outside pressure to bring regimes back from the brink of genocide.

What can you do to change the situation?

· Write the Chinese Embassy in Washington D.C.

· Email: chinaembrpress_us@mfa.gov.en

· Call the Chinese Embassy in Washington D.C. and complain: (202) 495-2266

· Write or call to your local US House of Representative and/or your two US Senators

More articles by:

J. P. Linstroth is a former Fulbright Scholar to Brazil. He has a PhD from the University of Oxford. He is the author of Marching Against Gender Practice (2015).

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
December 10, 2019
Tony McKenna
The Demonization of Jeremy Corbyn
John Grant
American Culture Loves a Good Killer
Jacob Hornberger
Afghanistan: a Pentagon Paradise Built on Lies
Nick Licata
Was Trump Looking for Corruption or a Personal Favor?
Thomas M. Magstadt
What’s the Matter With America?
Brian Tokar
Climate Talks in Madrid: What Will It Take to Prevent Climate Collapse?
Jack Rasmus
Trump vs. Democracy
Walden Bello
Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics
Binoy Kampmark
A Troubled Family: NATO Turns 70
Brian Horejsi
Citizens Are Never Trusted
Michael Barker
Self-Defense in the Civil Rights Movement: the Lessons of Birmingham, 1963
John Feffer
Soldiers Who Fight War
Howie Wolke
Willingness to Compromise Puts Wilderness at Risk
December 09, 2019
Jefferson Morley
Trump’s Hand-Picked Prosecutor John Durham Cleared the CIA Once, Will He Again?
Kirkpatrick Sale
Political Collapse: The Center Cannot Hold
Ishmael Reed
Bloomberg Condoned Sexual Assault by NYPD 
W. T. Whitney
Hitting at Cuban Doctors and at Human Solidarity
Louisa Willcox
The Grizzly Cost of Coexistence
Thomas Knapp
Meet Virgil Griffith: America’s Newest Political Prisoner
John Feffer
How the New Right Went Global — and How to Stop It
Ralph Nader
Why Not Also Go With “The Kitchen Table” Impeachable Offenses for Removal?
Robert Fisk
Meet the Controversial Actor and Businessman Standing Up Against Egypt’s el-Sisi
M. K. Bhadrakumar
Sri Lanka Continues Its Delicate Dance With India
Dahr Jamail
Savoring What Remains: Dealing With Climate PTSD
George Wuerthner
Bison Slaughter in Yellowstone…Again
Scott Tucker
Premature Democratic Socialists: Reasons for Hope and Change
Julian Rose
Polish Minister of Health Proposes Carcinogenic 5G Emission Levels as National Norm
Dean Baker
Coal and the Regions Left Behind
Robert Koehler
Envisioning a United World
Weekend Edition
December 06, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Eat an Impeachment
Matthew Hoh
Authorizations for Madness; The Effects and Consequences of Congress’ Endless Permissions for War
Jefferson Morley
Why the Douma Chemical Attack Wasn’t a ‘Managed Massacre’
Andrew Levine
Whatever Happened to the Obama Coalition?
Paul Street
The Dismal Dollar Dems and the Subversion of Democracy
Dave Lindorff
Conviction and Removal Aren’t the Issue; It’s Impeachment of Trump That is Essential
Ron Jacobs
Law Seminar in the Hearing Room: Impeachment Day Six
Linda Pentz Gunter
Why Do We Punish the Peacemakers?
Louis Proyect
Michael Bloomberg and Me
Robert Hunziker
Permafrost Hits a Grim Threshold
Joseph Natoli
What We Must Do
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Global Poison Spring
Robert Fantina
Is Kashmir India’s Palestine?
Charles McKelvey
A Theory of Truth From the South
Walden Bello
How the Battle of Seattle Made the Truth About Globalization True
Evan Jones
BNP Before a French Court
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail