China urges US to 'abandon prejudice' over Xinjiang

Elias Hubbard
September 14, 2018

The US State Department on Tuesday said it was anxious over Beijing's "worsening crackdown" on Uighur Muslims in China's far western Xinjiang province.

According to a 117-page report published over the weekend, the Chinese government conducted "mass arbitrary detention, torture and mistreatment" of Uighur Turks in the region.

In the report, HRW documents the increasing government control over the 13 million Muslims living in Xinjiang.

In August, a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers called for Chinese officials involved in alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang to be sanctioned under the Global Magnitsky Act - the 2012 law originally created to freeze the assets of certain Russian government officials and businessmen accused of human rights violations.

A law student at the University of British Columbia named Shawn Zhang has been posting satellite photos online that he says show a network of re-education camps across Xinjiang, along with information about their location.

The United Nations human rights panel said in August that China is believed to be holding up to 1 million ethnic Uighurs in a secretive system of "internment camps" in Xinjiang, in China's far west, where they undergo political education.

The matter has aroused "intense controversy" in Kazakhstan, Eurasianet.org writes, which notes that earlier this year the government took the unusual step of issuing a diplomatic note over China's treatment of Kazakhs.

It isn't the first time the Chinese government has been accused of oppressing minorities in Xinjiang or other parts of the country. China has been vocal about keeping the Muslim province in a tight leash in order to scupper extremism and militancy. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

Officials are also seeking to limit the sale of U.S. surveillance technologies that could be used to keep close watch on the 11 million residents of China's northwest Xinjiang region, current and former United States officials told the newspaper.

It is estimated that in the area, one million are now detained in re-education camps where they are forced to learn Mandarin and sing the praises of the Chinese Communist Party.

The region's indigenous Uyghurs have grown increasingly restive over Beijing's ever more intrusive monitoring of religious life and the growing migration of Han Chinese into the region, where they now make up around 40 percent of the 22- million population. Those who resist or are deemed to have failed to "learn" are punished, it said. The process included forcing Muslims to eat pork and drink alcohol, which are prohibited in Islam.

"They have also subjected people in Xinjiang to pervasive and constant surveillance", it said.

"There's no need to defend you against anything".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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