finally blown by major document leaks in late 2019, the Chinese government no
longer denies that it has built a high-tech surveillance state to control the
Muslim Uighur population living in the country’s far western region of
undated file photo of Uighurs being held at a detention centre in Xinjiang,
China. Photo: Twitter
the work of a small group of human-rights activists, academics, reporters and
the Uighur people themselves; Beijing has shifted strategy to try to justify
its draconian “Xinjiang Experiment.” Since 2017, the government has detained
more than a million Uighurs and other Muslims in “training” camps, apparently
with the goals of sinicizing as well as converting them to communism.
York Times and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)
delivered the coup-de-grace evidence through hundreds of pages detailing how
the government of President Xi Jinping conceived, planned, approved and
implemented a comprehensive strategy to create the world’s most sophisticated
laboratory for mass control.
obvious issue of human-rights abuses, the Xinjiang surveillance state raises
wider questions for everyone. Is this the future model of governance for
dealing with the threats of ethnic conflicts, public safety, disease control,
and competition for resources on a densely populated planet? Will this be our
collective Orwellian fate if China becomes the world’s leading superpower?
Allen-Ebrahimian, the lead reporter for the ICIJ’s coverage of the Xinjiang
Cables, reflected on some of those bleak sentiments in a podcast interview with
SupChina’s Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn on December 5.
look to China as a model of governance,” she said, explaining why people in the
rest of the world should worry about what goes on in Xinjiang. (@41.25 mins).
What happens in Xinjiang won’t stay in Xinjiang, she warned.
explosive stories most certainly moved the US House of Representatives to vote
overwhelmingly – 407-1 – on December 3 to pass the Uighur Human Rights Policy
Act of 2019. Among other things, it paves the way for the US government
eventually to sanction Chinese officials for human-rights violations in
illegally detaining and ‘retraining’ the Uighurs and other minorities to become
more Chinese and communist.
19, the European Parliament passed a resolution for targeted sanctions and
asset freezes against the Chinese officials responsible for the Xinjiang policy
of “severe repression.”
8, the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) went a step
further by describing the Chinese government’s policy toward the Uighurs as
“crimes against humanity.”
is being set for the US and China to add Xinjiang to their growing list of
bitter disputes. The stage is also set for the opening of a Pandora’s Box, not
just for these two countries, but for the world.
About US Crimes?
and others have expressed the hope that the International Criminal Court (ICC)
will eventually be moved to prosecute Chinese officials, including Xi Jinping
himself. It might take time, she said, as those seeking justice would have to
contend with China’s growing diplomatic and economic might.
more complicated than that. As the Uighurs’ struggle is increasingly dependent
on American support, the push to prosecute China’s “crimes against humanity”
could raise potentially troubling questions for the US itself:
focus on China’s abusive policies in Xinjiang draw attention to America’s own
record of war crimes, human-rights violations and illegal military actions in
other countries? Wikipedia has aggregated a list of alleged US war crimes going
back several decades. Already, questions are being asked about both the
legality and morality of President Donald Trump’s assassination of Iranian
military leader Qasem Soleimani on January 3.
alleged US war crimes have been addressed by the ICC?
ICC have the credibility to prosecute Chinese officials given that it has been
undermined and threatened by the US?
troops commit war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan? If an independent
international commission were to investigate Chinese government crimes against
the Uighur people, should there be one to look into US war crimes in Iraq and
questions do not play down the horror show in Xinjiang, nor excuse Beijing’s
totalitarian grip on the Uighurs in the implementation of its “war on terror”
and Belt and Road Initiative strategy.
would be amiss not to compare the scale of the injustices inflicted by the US
and Chinese governments on two separate groups of largely innocent people.
after the NYT and ICIJ published their Xinjiang stories, The Washington Post
released its equally sensational “Afghanistan Papers.” Based on more than 2,000
pages of interviews with senior US government officials and others directly
involved in the war, the Post documented a long history of US deception and
coverup in the buildup and conduct in its ongoing 18-year conflict in
said it had to wage its own legal battle against the US government for more
than three years to secure the release of the documents under the Freedom of
Afghanistan Papers complement the Xinjiang Cables in exposing the duplicity of
both the US and China governments in suppressing Muslim populations in the name
of fighting the war on terror.
Amid the growing
call for action against Beijing with the release of the Xinjiang Cables, how
should the international community respond to allegations contained in the
their cause has captured world attention, the Uighurs face questions about
their long-term goals, and how they plan to achieve them.
to their dependence on US support, the Kurds provide an important case study as
they have a long history of working with, and for, the West. Like the Uighurs,
the Kurds are an ancient people of Islamic faith seeking to establish their own
behest of the US in the 1980s, the Kurds fought Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein
and suffered huge casualties that included genocide at the hands of Baghdad.
Between 2014 and 2017, Kurdish fighters played an important role in helping the
allied forces defeat Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria.
estimated 35 million Kurds who live scattered across Turkey, Syria, Iran and
Iraq believe that they will eventually be rewarded for their support of the US.
It will be
a long wait. Last October, President Trump suddenly withdrew US troops from
northern Syria in what had been a safe zone for the Kurds. Within hours,
Turkey, which bitterly opposes Kurdish independence, sent troops in to take
over the region.
motivated Trump’s decision, the shock move immediately forced more than 130,000
Kurds to flee as refugees while reviving Islamic State’s fortunes in the
region, according to Rolling Stone magazine. Some of the 11,000 ISIS fighters
imprisoned by the Kurds broke free during the confusion and are regrouping to
resume their reign of terror. The Kurds will be one of their targets in future
attacks of revenge.
act of betrayal against the Kurds was not the first by the US. According to The
Intercept, the US has turned its back on the Kurds eight times since the late
1800s. Writer Jon Schwarz observed, “… the Kurds are a perfect tool for US
foreign policy. We can arm the Kurds in whichever of these countries is
currently our enemy, whether to make trouble for that country’s government or
to accomplish various other objectives.”
the Kurds have seen their sacrifices wasted and their hopes dashed after being
used to fulfill Western strategic objectives constantly to fight the “bad
With the US
and China locked in a long struggle, the Uighurs must consider the risk that
they too could end up as dispensable pawns in a chess game among the big
obscure frontier land, Xinjiang has become a conundrum for the world. As a
strategic piece on the Europe-Asia landmass, the 1.67-square-kilometer
resource-rich region is no longer just a Uighur concern as it is pivotal to
President Xi’s US$1 trillion Belt and Road Initiative.
Chinese government succeeds in its goal of eradicating or sinicising the Uighur
identity, it will not just be their culture or religion that is at risk. Xi
Jinping’s Xinjiang represents the most advanced working model for totalitarian
rule. It is now conceivable for a single powerful politician, armed with the
right technology and draconian regulations, to attempt to subjugate and mould a
sizable group of people.
groups have raised the alarm, but stopping the Xinjiang Experiment is only a
short-term goal that raises long-term questions.
for protecting the Uighurs’ human rights and their way of life is crucial at
this juncture, but American intentions for Xinjiang are not entirely clear
the Kurdish question, will the US support the Uighurs’ demand for an
independent state? Is the US looking at Xinjiang as part of its own
geopolitical chessboard to check China’s rise, as well as stop Russia’s
If the US
is not prepared to support Uighur independence, will that encourage the
community to seek support from elsewhere? Could this open Xinjiang to the
prospect of long-term political instability?
Muslim-majority countries acting against Beijing’s oppression of the Uighurs in
Xinjiang?” has become a popular topic of discussion about China today.
In a tweet
on January 15, Human Rights Watch senior researcher Maya Wang demanded this of
Indonesia, the country with the world’s largest Muslim population: “When will
you speak up for [the] Uighurs?”
It was a
follow-up to her Jakarta Post commentary in February 2019, which criticized the
Indonesian government’s “lackluster” response to reports about Beijing’s
human-rights abuses in Xinjiang.
The Washington Post practically accused the Muslim world of supporting China’s
“cultural genocide of Uighurs.”
they ashamed?” the Post said in an editorial denouncing at least a dozen
Muslim-majority countries for officially endorsing China’s human-rights record,
including its security operations in Xinjiang.
criticism is misplaced, as it treats Muslim countries as a monolithic bloc with
identical foreign-policy interests. It is based on the stereotype that people
of the same ethnicity, skin color, or religious affiliation must think and act
be akin to asking why countries with large Christian populations are not
collectively demanding that Saudi Arabia allow non-Muslims freedom of worship.
Or why countries with sizable Buddhist populations have not acted against the
rise of Buddhist extremism in Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
country is guided by its own interests, and religion is not always a key factor
in shaping foreign policies.
bigger consideration is that Muslim-majority countries today are probably more
wary of the West than they are of Beijing, notwithstanding the fact that
Islamophobia is on the rise in China.
turn of the century, the US has launched or supported devastating wars in Iraq,
Afghanistan, Syria and Libya, destabilizing large swaths of the Middle East,
North Africa and Central Asia in the process. Since taking office in 2017,
President Trump has added to the United States’ anti-Islam image by making
policies that appear to target Muslims and Muslim-majority countries.
Muslim-majority states are able to unite against China over Xinjiang, what is
to stop them from turning on the West? Indeed, if they somehow found unity of
purpose, why not turn against both China and the West?
clear scenario in sight, many Muslim-majority countries have chosen to stay out
of the Xinjiang issue for now. Like other countries, they too are hedging their
positions as the US-China struggle plays out.
Pandora opened her proverbial box, she let out the curses of war, disease,
death and other evils into the world, but inexplicably, retained one item in
the box: hope. The Greeks are still debating the consequences if she had freed
can be asked of Xinjiang today as gloom descends over the region and its people.
For those fighting to shape Xinjiang’s future, what do they hope to achieve?
Worse, what if they succeed?
Headline: Xinjiang opens up a Pandora’s Box
Source: The Asia Times
is very happy because China is persecuting Ughur Muslims. He has all rights to
be happy. I wish him real happiness.
there is truly monotheism in Hinduism, why there is no agenda taken by
state-power actors to lay a heavy weight over monotheism of Hinduism? Why there
comes a claim from some of them that they love their God? Is this the love of
God shown by them that they have not yet appeared in limelight to loudly say
that God is One? The people are concerned about detention centres but have no
time to recognize One God and be in lovely rememberance of Him Alone so that
they can learn how to respect human beings simply as creatures of God.
is not about any particular religionists. This is the problem sensed by cleric
departments of Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Christanity etc. Koi dudh ka dhula
nahi hai, apne apne maidan men sab anokhe hain
why do not you consider Hinduism when you name monotheistic religions of the
world? You have become blind bhakt of Abrahamic religions and not of Hinduism which
also teaches monotheism. your honest approach game is very much appearing here
is interesting to read the coup-de-grace evidence detailing how the Chinese
planned a strategy to create “the world’s most sophisticated laboratory for
mass control”. The question that “will this be our collective Orwellian fate if
China becomes the world’s leading superpower?” justly requires a convincing
is inherently reported to have been a threat to religions of the entire world. If
this practical example majorly starts from Ughur Muslims, can this end with
religionist non-Muslims? The leading western policy is always taken into care
for the safety of Christanity, Judaism and in some parts for the safety of
Islam as well. The people of Scriptures, Muslims, Christians and Jews
ideologically fight over something but they have numerous common grounds to
support one another to save their shared religious doctrines especially
regarding monotheistic similarities and dissimalirities resulting from the
Abrahamic religions. This is the sense being perceived now-a-days by thinkers
concerned about some policies of the west vs. China’s real theory of communism—a
real face of communism that came into display after the series of incidents
hitting Ughur Muslims.