The ‘beauty’ in the cultural genocide in China’s Uighur homeland

  • An ethnic Uighur child in China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang (Photograph by Andy Wong/AP)

    An ethnic Uighur child in China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang (Photograph by Andy Wong/AP)


The Chinese Government has insisted that the mass incarceration facilities in Xinjiang province in the far north-west of the country should not be called re-education or concentration camps, but rather vocational skills training centres.

To read the secret official manual on operating these camps, which has just been disclosed, is to see they actually are brainwashing facilities — cruel, coercive and brutal.

The new China Cables are a profoundly important breach of the walls — and a glimpse at cultural genocide.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a non-profit based in Washington, has published the second tranche of secret Chinese documents to surface in recent weeks, the result of work by more than 75 journalists and 17 media organisations in 14 countries.

The first tranche, published by The New York Times on November 16, showed how the incarceration campaign was driven from the top by President Xi Jinping. The new release includes a revelatory 2017 manual, marked “secret”, prescribing how the camps are to function.

Although China insists the camps are aimed at preventing extremism and terrorism, witnesses have described a massive effort to eradicate Uighur and other Muslim minority culture, language and traditions, and forcibly instil Mandarin language and ideological obedience to the Chinese Communist Party.

Adrian Zenz, senior fellow in China studies at the Washington-based Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, has also obtained new documents on the camp system and now estimates that up to 1.8 million Turkic Muslim Uighurs and other minorities are being held in as many as 1,300 to 1,400 internment camps.

The manual says camp bosses must work to “prevent escapes”, with strict security precautions, emphasising that all dormitory, corridor and floor doors “must be double-locked”.

Each camp must have guardhouses and security equipment, including “one-button alarms” and “full video surveillance” that is “free of blind spots” so guards can watch everything in real time. Also, camp chiefs must “prevent trouble” by being ready to “roll out secret forces” in case people are joining “to cause trouble”.

Each person must have a “fixed bed position, fixed queue position, fixed classroom seat and fixed station during skills work”.

They are denied mobile phones and “may not contact the outside world” except when permitted calls to relatives.

They are drilled in Mandarin, a top priority, and encouraged to “understand deeply the illegal, criminal and dangerous nature of their past behaviour”.

To get out after a year, they must demonstrate, among other things, “ideological transformation”. It sounds like prison.

The consortium, which verified the authenticity of the documents with experts, says China called the papers “pure fabrication and fake news”.

China also asserted the camps have been effective. “Xinjiang is a beautiful, peaceful and prosperous region in China,” the Chinese embassy in London told The Guardian, a member of the consortium. “Three years ago, this was not the case.”

The true fake news is plain for all to see: China is achieving its “beautiful peace” by means of cultural genocide.

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Published Nov 28, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Nov 28, 2019 at 7:20 am)

The ‘beauty’ in the cultural genocide in China’s Uighur homeland

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