Authors: Justice 雨人
Editor: GS Seamoon
Editor’s note: On July 2, 2020, the CCP’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a statement on its official website claiming that the world, mainly U.S. and western countries, has wronged China on various issues related to Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and the COVID-19 pandemic. There are 37 detailed claims in the statement and each one of them will be refuted with solid proof in four separate articles published on GNEWS. The third episode is on the issue of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Regions.
(1) The CCP calls the internment camps“Vocational Education and Training Centers”. They also denied the fact that they detained over one million Uyghurs.
Debunk No.16 – (1): The CCP had been denying the existence of the concentration camps, but as the truth pierces through their fabricated net of lie, they changed the tack and called them “Vocational Education and Training Centers”in the second half of 2018. Leading Xinjiang scholar Adrian Zenz estimated that 1.8 million Muslim minorities including Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Hui, Uzbeks and others have been suffering from variant forms of detention1 in over 1000 camps in Xinjiang2.
(2) The CCP whitewashed these centers by analogy with the US Community Corrections (CC), the British Desistance and Disengagement Program (DDP) and the French De-radicalization Center.
Debunk No.16 – (2): This is a complete lie. The US CC and British DDP are sanctions imposed on convicted adults or released criminals in a community setting as alternatives of jails. The French de-radicalization center is volunteer based. However, the Uyghurs in the camps had not committed any crime or faced any trial, yet the CCP took away their freedoms and put them into barbed-wire buildings. The CCP called them on the edge of becoming criminals and often they are detained simply for growing beard or contacting friends abroad3. They were forced to stay in the camps involuntarily, wear uniforms and follow strict rules on daily activities. They were separated from their families and their children were sent to orphanage. Their lives were worse than criminals as they didn’t know when they could re-gain freedoms.4,5
(3) The CCP called it a rumor regarding their detention of over a million Uyghurs. It claimed that the Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) supported by US government was making up those stories as the conclusion was based on interviews of only eight people. It also called Adrian Zenz a far-right fundamentalist who relied on a single TV report for his conclusion.
Debunk No.16 – (3): The mass incarceration, may be proven to be the largest since the Holocaust, as more and more evidence were found. Leaked document from China authorities6, interviews of families and friends of the detainees by BBC7, Dr. Zenz’s data driven reports8, as well as the emptied residences and the high wall buildings constructed in 2018 and 2019 in the Xinjiang area7,9. Some satellite pictures from 2016 to 2019 clearly showed buildings booming on site of those camps10. The CCP cannot deny these facts.
The CCP was questioning the small sample size on which the human rights researchers made their conclusions; however the CCP’s suppression was the reason these voices and truths could hardly outlet to the world. The BBC reporter was escorted 24 hours a day when conducting interviews in Xinjiang. He was not allowed to collect any additional information or interview independently other than what CCP permitted. Such interviews had to be done with groups fled out to Turkey out of China5. Taking down the CCP would be the only way to reveal truths to the world and stop the horrific abuses of the minorities.
Lie No.17: The CCP denied its enforcement of political indoctrination and terrorization on the minorities. It argued that these camps aimed to teach mandarin, provide training vocational skills and to de-radicalize the extremists, in order to help the minorities to land stable jobs afterwards. Most of the minorities were able to make decent income and improve quality of life.
Debunk No.17: This is a plain lie. These camps extend far beyond teaching skills. Many people in the camps are professors, writers, poets and other highly educated people10. These camps are built to erase the Uyghur culture. Moreover, a camp overseer had admitted the existence of multiple forms of camps3 depending on how cooperative the detainees are. “The vocational training in internment camps is only one of seven or eight forms of extrajudicial internment in Xinjiang,” Dr. Zenz said, “only the lucky ones get to go into these camps and then into forced labor. There are many others who are in other forms of re-education that have nothing to do with vocational training—that are simply about brainwashing, indoctrination and intimidation—and that internment is probably still ongoing.” Furthermore, the so-called “stable jobs” was indicating a latest trend in Xinjiang since 2019. It is a forced labor system even “more shocking” than that of the internment camps, which Dr. Zenz said involved coerced military, political, and vocational training for the purpose of working in officially subsidized companies2. The detainees lost their freedoms, family bonds and basic human rights, however, according to the CCP’s logic, a life without these critical elements is good enough for the minorities.
Lie No.18: The CCP called the detainees trainees and they declared the trainees are guaranteed with basic human rights such as freedom of mobility, freedom of religion and communication, and freedom of speaking native language. Disrespectful behaviors towards the trainees were not allowed.
Debunk No.18: Although the CCP is good at tightening their control over the area and hiding any evidence of this evil acts, documents were leaked and published on internet in 2017 and 2019 exposing the protocols for running these facilities. The purpose of establishing these camps was to conduct “ideological transformation” of the Muslim ethnic minorities. Since those in camps are detained against their will, full video surveillance coverage, alarms, barbed wire, confiscated phones, watch towers, check points, and patrol routes are used to prevent escapes10. As per RFA’s Uyghur Service, the detainees were “subjected to political indoctrination, routinely face rough treatment at the hands of their overseers and endure poor diets and unhygienic conditions in the often-overcrowded facilities.2
A lady who was detained for 15 months described her experience: she had fixed seat and bed location and fixed schedule. If exceeding the 2-minute rule for using the restroom, the detainee got knocked on head by electrical baton and had to beg the teacher for forgiveness. These shocking ruling are even rare in military prisons11. The CCP also worked on eradiating native language and culture of the minorities. It not only enforce the mandarin learning to adults, it also took the young children to orphanage, which they called boarding schools, to be raised with mandarin and CCP materials. Dr. Zenz said,“I have uncovered very detailed evidence of both teacher and students in these boarding schools if they failed to speak Chinese to each other there are severe penalties5.”The CCP has been assembling the regime as crude as the Qin Dynasty. It’s hard to believe this is occurring in 21st century when “peace and development being the dominant theme of the world. “
Lie No.19: The CCP attempted to use “no non-Chinese” to deny their detention of legal residents from other countries.
Debunk No.19: The U.S. State Department stated that a few American residents were held in detention camps in Xinjiang13. It was revealed in Feb 2019 that 17 Australian residents were believed to have been detained while on trips to China visiting relatives. These people are all Chinese who lived abroad. The CCP played the trick of “Chinese”vs “Chinese residents”to evade their responsibilities.
Lie No.20: The CCP views the internment camps through lens of terrorism and declared the camps were no different than other counter-terrorism measures. Xinjiang has not experienced violent or terrorism cases for more than 3 years. They received support from over 60 countries at UN and praises from over 70 visiting groups from government, media to religious groups.
Debunk No.20: CCP disguised its intention of culture genocide in the name the fighting terrorism. First of all, the Karakax List displayed a few reasons of internment: religious figures, birth control violation, men with long beards, women with veils, etc15. Other news reported people were sent to camps for downloading whatsapp or browsing a website abroad. Such reasons have nothing to do with terrorism. Secondly, it is unlawful to lock down people and identify them as terrorists in advance. The detainees had gone through no trials or charge. They were put into the camps just because of their race. What the CCP wants is “one country one race”. Furthermore, a small group of terrorists shall not be the excuse of prisoning near 2 million people, which was one tenth of the world’s Muslim population in the name of prevention. The CCP’s disregard for human rights apparently knows no bounds. It is indeed the biggest terrorist group that put out terror on innocent people. The CCP has successfully influenced the United Nations and taken many dependent nations to its side. It has bought out these voices to create a safer environment for its dictatorship in the world.
Lie No.21: Xinjiang has never restricted the freedom of travel of people, including the Uyghur. No matter which person in Xinjiang, as long as he/she is not restricted from leaving the country due to suspected criminal activities, he/she can leave the country freely. Xinjiang has never restricted communication among people including Uyghur, and their relatives overseas.
Debunk No.21: The CCP has been executing strict grid control over the people in Xinjiang. In as early as 2016, Voice of Germany quoted one report from Global Times that all residents of Xinjiang must submit their passports to the Public Security Bureau for review and safekeeping. Xinjiang residents have to get approvals from the Bureau before they can collect passports and travel abroad. Through this way, the CCP successfully restricted freedom of mobility of Xinjiang residents, including Uyghur. The CCP has been suppressing and monitoring the Muslim-dominated minority group in Xinjiang through manpower and technology. The control was extended to visitors per the New York Times article published in July 2019. All visitors traveling by land were required to install a specific APP on their phones. This APP collects personal data including SMS and address books. It also checks whether a device carries specific pictures, videos, documents, and audio files. In fact, the CCP has been closely monitoring the communication between Xinjiang residents and people overseas. It pays special attention to activities such as browsing foreign websites through VPNs and downloading foreign messaging apps.
Lie No.22: The CCP installs surveillance cameras in public areas such as major roads and transportation hubs in Xinjiang in order to improve social governance, prevent and fight crime. These monitoring facilities are not to target any specific ethnic group. Nor can they automatically identify and target a specific group. They were implemented with the intention to deter bad people and protect good people.
Debunk No.22: In May 2019, the New York Times reported that large-scale purchases of electronic monitoring and security equipment started in Xinjiang in 2012 after Xi Jinping came into power. In 2017, the public safety expenditures in Xinjiang were nearly $8.4 billion U.S. dollars, which was 6 times compared with the number in 2012. Hikvision, an advanced-tech company in China , won a contract for camera and facial recognition system worth at least $290 million U.S. dollars in Xinjiang. Facial recognition technology has been integrated into China’s rapidly expanding surveillance camera network. It specifically recognizes Uyghur based on their appearance and records their whereabouts for search and review. The police are now using facial recognition technology to target Uyghur in some eastern cities such as Hangzhou and Wenzhou and in the coastal province of Fujian. According to the procurement documents, about 20 police departments in 16 different provinces and regions in China began to seek a set of smart camera systems that can support facial recognition and distinguish between Uyghur and non-Uyghur people.
Lie No.23: The so-called “Xinjiang Forced Labor” is a campaign carefully planned by anti-China forces in the United States and Australia. As a part of Chinese laborers, Xinjiang minority workers enjoy the rights granted by law. They have the freedom to choose occupations and their personal freedom has never been restricted.
Debunk No.23: Per the latest report of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, an estimate of more than 80,000 Uyghurs have been forced to leave Xinjiang and work in factories across China under the “Adding Xinjiang” program from 2017 to 2019. Some of those Uyghur workers were sent directly from the Xinjiang “re-education camp”. According to the report, the estimated figures were conservative. Those Uyghur workers usually receive organized Mandarin and ideological training outside working hours. They are prohibited from participating in religious activities. It was extremely difficult for these people to refuse or evade these tasks. In addition, the CCP also rewards local governments and labor dispatch agencies who organize labor activities in terms of headcount. The report contained three case studies. The first case was Qingdao Taiguang Shoes Co., Ltd., China, which took in many workers from Xinjiang. This company produces sports shoes for the American brand Nike. A Washington Post reporter visited this factory in Laixi, Shandong. It was reported that the factory looked like a prison with barbed wire, lookout towers, cameras, and police stations. “We can move around, but we cannot go back to our own (Xinjiang),” quoted from an Uyghur woman in the factory.
Lie No.24: The number of mosques in Xinjiang has increased from more than 2,000 in 1978 to 24,400 today. Every 530 Muslims own a mosque, which is more than 10 times the number of mosques in the United States. The protection and repair of mosques are vital to Xinjiang. Those mosques have been through new constructions, relocation, and expansion per the demands of the local religious group.
Debunk No.24: First, we need to clarify the remarks of the CCP. The number of mosques in Xinjiang was 29,500 when the CCP occupied Xinjiang in the early 1950s. After the Cultural Revolution, the number of mosques in Xinjiang dropped sharply to 2,900, and then gradually restored to 24,000. (Cite the “Analysis of the Quantity Change and Management Policy of Xinjiang Mosques”) The CCP has always worried that the adherence of Muslim beliefs may evolve into religious extremism, thus blatantly defying its rule of Islam in China. In 2018, the CCP proposed “Sinicization of Islam”, requiring all beliefs to be subject to Chinese culture and the Party. The demolishing of mosques has occurred in various parts of Xinjiang. Through cooperation with the investigative reporting network Bellingcat, the Guardian found satellite images in 2016 by comparing Google Earth with the satellite company Planet Labs. By 2018, at least 31 mosques and two large shrines in Xinjiang have been destroyed or completely demolished by the CCP. Among them, 15 mosques were completely demolished by the CCP and the remaining 16 mosques were demolished with gates, domes, and minarets. Rian Thum, a professor at the University of Nottingham, has studied the development of Islam in China for a long period of time. He tweeted that the Chinese government’s destruction of Xinjiang’s holy shrines and mosques is a direct manifestation of the destruction of Uyghur culture. He also wrote that: “Like other policies promoted by the Chinese government in Xinjiang, the government’s strategy to destroy mosques and shrines is not only to destroy the culture of modern Uyghur but also to completely destroy their history and future.”
Lie No.25: The Xinjiang government does not implement cremation among ethnic minorities with burial customs. The government guarantees it with specific measures such as the allocation of dedicated land and the establishment of a dedicated cemetery. There are no restrictions on ethnic customs such as wedding and funeral ceremonies and naming.
Debunk No.25: The latest survey shows that more than 100 Uyghur tombs have been removed by the local government in Xinjiang. Uyghur people claimed this to be another excuse used the CCP to eradicate the ethnic cultural identity of Uyghur. CNN reported that more than 60 Uyghur tombs have been removed, most of which occurred within the past 2 years based on satellite photo comparison. The Sultanim Cemetery, which has a history of more than 1,000 years in the center of Hetan, Xinjiang, was also razed to the ground in April last year. It now seems to have become a parking lot. Cemeteries are meaningful for any culture but the CCP ruthlessly demolished them.
Lie No.26: In 2016, The Xinjiang government launched the “National Unity and Family” and national solidarity activities. More than 1.1 million staff members of local government were paired with more than 1.6 million residents to make friends and help them to solve practical difficulties in work and life.
Debunk No.26: At the beginning of October 2016, under the framework of the “national unity and family” activity, the CCP required all staff members of Xinjiang’s administrative and public institutions to “recognize relatives” with the grassroots. Human Rights Watch recently published an article that about 110,000 officials were responsible for visiting the Muslim residents of South Xinjiang every two months at the beginning of the initiative. In December 2017, the authorities mobilized millions of staff members to participate and stay with supported residents, sharing the same meal， and living with each other for one week. In early 2018, the CCP required staff members to live with their households for a few days on a regular basis. Living together for not less than 8 days, all cadres in the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture must live five days every two months.
Human Rights Watch pointed out that officials must perform a variety of tasks in addition to collecting and updating the basic information of residents’ family members. They were also required to gain an understanding of the residents’ ideological status, religious beliefs, as well as political-ideological indoctrination, including their interpretation of the “Xi Jinping Thought”. Moreover, they also needed to teach residents how to speak Chinese, sing songs that advocate for the CCP and make sure residents’ participation in the weekly flag-raising ceremony.
China Forcibly Sterilising Uighur Muslims In Xinjiang: Leading Scholar Dr. Adrian Zenz Exclusive India Today, Jul 2, 2020
新疆「再教育營」：探尋維吾爾「思想轉化營」內的真相, John Sudworth, BBC, June 23, 2019
Inside China’s ‘thought transformation’ camps BBC News, Jun 18. 2019
新疆再教育營：學校分隔了維族兒童與家人, John Sudworth, BBC, July 5, 2019
Sterilizations, Forced Abortions, and Mandatory Birth Control, Adrian Zenz, June 2020
New Evidence for China’s Political Re-Education Campaign in Xinjiang, Adrian Zenz, May 2018
新疆再教育營：文件披露維吾爾人如何被「洗腦」BBC, Nov 25, 2019
More Evidence of China’s Horrific Abuses in Xinjiang HRW.org Feb 20, 2020
Karakax List: https://www.jpolrisk.com/karakax/
德国之声 ： 媒体：新疆居民必须上交护照
纽约时报中文网：How China Uses High-Tech Surveillance to Subdue Minorities
纽约时报中文网： One Month , 500,000 Face Scans : How China is Using AI to profile a Minority
BBC 中文网 ： 新疆“再教育营”：智库指维族人遭强制劳动涉83家国际公司
纽约时报中文网 ： 新疆镇压行动中的维吾尔族儿童