Uyghur repression in China detailed in ASPI report
Xu, Leibold and Impiombato said the authorities have sought to “permanently reshape Xinjiang society and achieve a perfect state of” overall stability “by the end of 2021”.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry accused the ASPI of “concocting lies” and “spreading slanderous rumors” as part of a campaign by foreign forces, including the United States and Australia, against the China. On Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Xinjiang now enjoys “social stability, economic development, solidarity between ethnic groups and harmony between religions.”
“People of all ethnic groups lead happy and fulfilling lives, with all rights and interests prescribed by law fully guaranteed,” he said. âThe so-called human rights issues in Xinjiang are a real political conspiracy. “
But that stability seems to have come at a price for locals like Ablitz, according to police reports from Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, first disclosed to reporter Yael Grauer and shared with ASPI.
In this environment, a depressed teenager posting on WeChat about ‘life without hope’ was turned into evidence of radicalism, families were told they would be detained if they did not leave areas that were to be given a more Chinese facade, while Uyghur divorcee Ekper Tursun was sent to a re-education camp because he “has no fixed address” to fulfill a local government detention quota.
An official from Xinjiang told Human Rights Watch in 2019 that quotas were in place for arrests across the region.
âSo we started arresting random people: people arguing in the neighborhood, people fighting in the streets, drunks, lazy people; we would arrest them and accuse them of being extremists, âhe said. âThere wasn’t enough room for everyone in the centers, so they built new ones. “
Satellite images show that some lower-security detention centers in Xinjiang have been decommissioned in favor of community policing, while other higher-security facilities have continued to be built until this year.
At the same time, the community policing structure for those outside of detention has created a fear of constant surveillance, with local Han Chinese families and some Uyghurs being part of the intelligence apparatus in return for economic gains and policies through the Party.
âPeople ended up feeling like they were part of the police, with a taste for looking at and relating to each other,â said Uyghur poet Tahir Hamut Izgil. “They were constantly ready to face enemies, and at the same time often felt that they were the enemy themselves.”
The files also indicate the personalities responsible for the implementation of the new regime. Among them are rising Party stars, including Yao Ning, a 36-year-old Party secretary from Maralbeshi County and a Harvard graduate, and Yang Fasen, who at 50 is Xinjiang’s youngest ministerial-level official. and so passionate about the Party that he broke into a song about the brevity of life while giving a propaganda lecture.
âYao personifies Xi Jinping’s ideal cadre: young, loyal and capable,â ASPI researchers said.
Yao said as a student: “[Iâd like to] go to where the motherland needs [me] most. Get on the big stage and have a big career.
Yao was one of 103 officials to meet with Xi on the eve of the Chinese Communist Party’s 100th anniversary in July.
Yang is the secretary in charge of Hotan Prefecture where 52 detention centers have been built and thousands of bus drivers have been mobilized to preach to passengers and watch for any signs of dissent. He was recently promoted to vice-governor of the region.
The methods used in Xinjiang are proving lucrative not only for local officials, but also for others across the country. Xinjiang has become a testing ground for the rest of China.
In 2018, Ningxia committee secretary Zhang Yunsheng said he would “learn and borrow” experiences from Xinjiang.
The Hong Kong government’s counterterrorism task force also visited that year. Just over two years later, more than 100 students, teachers, artists and activists were arrested on charges of subversion in the former liberal enclave, as critical media companies were shut down and facial recognition software was deployed. in the name of stability.
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