Strong international pressure has erupted against the draconian policies of President Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), who are trying to destroy the religio-cultural identity of the Uyghur people of East Turkestan (Xinjiang) and forcefully assimilate them into the dominant Han community.
A Canadian parliamentary committee declared last year that China’s Uyghur policy amounts to ‘genocide’ as defined in the UN 1948 Genocide Convention.
The conclusion on genocide of Uyghurs and other Chinese Muslims, was confirmed by the Trump administration, while Secretary of State-designate Blinken concurs it is ‘genocide’.
Rather than promoting a healthy multicultural-ethnic nation like Australia’s, the Chinese have made to ‘disappear’ whole nations over past millennia.
Is this not barbaric extremism?
Ethnic groups forcefully assimilated during historical expansion of the Han from their origins in the North China Plain, include the Wuhuan and Xianbei, the Qiang, the Dongxiang and Jie, the Yue people of Min Viet and Baiyue (Southeast China), and the Dian (Yunnan).
The Vietnamese threw-off the Chinese yoke after 900 years and preserved their identity. Their courageous example inspires hope for the Uyghurs.
Rights groups believe one to three million Uyghurs and other Turkic-speaking Muslims have been incarcerated in camps in north-western China; the largest mass internment of an ethnic-religious minority since World War II.
Witnesses say China seeks to assimilate Uyghurs by eradicating Islamic practices, including forcing Muslims to eat pork and drink alcohol, forbidden in Islam.
Chinese authorities subject Uyghur women to mass sterilisation, forcing many to take birth control measures or have abortions.
Detainees are forced to denounce their religion, forbidden to speak their language, and taught to adopt the norms of China’s Han majority (Leibold).
In 2016, Xinjiang got a new leader, CCP strongman, Chen Quanguo, whose previous job was imposing control over Tibet. Massive expansion of internment camps for Uyghurs followed.
Evidence including witness accounts, satellite imagery and leaked government orders documents large-scale detention of Uyghurs.
This author was himself refused boarding to a paid flight to Urumqi in 2017 due to new rules preventing foreigners spending more than a brief transit through the Uyghur capital (AMUST #152).
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) has documented 380 re-education camps, detention centres and prisons in Xinjiang.
The camps are similar to the mass indoctrination (‘brain-washing’) cum forced labour camps developed by the Nazis and Stalin-era gulags.
Uyghurs are the victims of Modern Slavery and exploited for forced or cheap labour.
The ASPI listed 82 international companies implicated as having links in their supply chains to 27 identified forced labour factories.
They include Amazon, H&M, HP, Land Rover, Nintendo, Nokia, Sharp and Victoria’s Secret.
Their report provides three case studies: one involving a factory “equipped with watchtowers, barbed-wire fences and police guard boxes” producing shoes for Nike, another supplying Adidas and Fila.
Australian laws on slavery require companies to eradicate forced labour from their supply chains.
What can be done to help the Uyghurs? I suggest the following:
- Fund and Establish Uyghur Nation Centres world-wide and support the East Turkestan Government overseas to ensure their people’s continuing governance, culture and language are maintained. Declare that East Turkestan remains eternally the sovereign territory of the Uyghur people.
- Promote Uyghur cultural performances.
- Boycott the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and ‘Made in China’ products, especially those made for companies that utilise Uyghur forced labour.
- Belt and Road agreements, such as with Victoria, should be rescinded.
- Governments, Institutions and Han representatives worldwide, are invited to condemn CCP’s genocide policies.
We request your du’a and advocacy that God Almighty blesses efforts of the Uyghurs and their leaders to seek freedom and end their genocide.