Xi Jinping affirms “correctness” of Xinjiang policy in wake of newly published data . . .
Amidst the growing international outcry over alleged cultural genocide in China, President Xi Jinping has declared the country’s policies in Xinjiang targeting Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities to be “completely correct” and that they “must carry on for a long time.” Xi’s affirmation followed a State Council white paper published this month that celebrated the “profound changes” in Xinjiang’s society and economy while inadvertently confirming reports about the scale and depth of the region’s forced re-education and labour schemes, details of which are mapped in the recently-launched Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Xinjiang Data Project. Meanwhile, the University of British Columbia recently announced its new Xinjiang Documentation Project to collect and translate official documents and testimonies about ongoing oppression in Xinjiang.
Growing international backlash against China's oppression . . .
The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act on September 22, which would ban all goods manufactured or produced in Xinjiang using forced labour. The bill will need Senate approval before becoming law. Key European Union leaders, such as European Council President Charles Michel, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Emmanuel Macron, have called out China’s treatment of minorities. They have urged the formation of an international mission to investigate human rights abuses in Xinjiang amid ongoing EU-China trade negotiations. Uyghur groups and their allies have also submitted a complaint to the International Criminal Court, seeking a genocide ruling against China in U.K. courts.
Part of an emerging new ethnic policy . . .
China’s policies in Xinjiang are increasingly serving as a model for all of China, dubbed the “second generation minorities policy,” which calls for cultural assimilation and national unity. First tested in Tibet and now expanded in Xinjiang, this ‘Sinicization’ model is being expanded to other communities such as the Mongols of Inner Mongolia, Hui Muslims in central China, and most recently the Utsul Muslims of Hainan. As this nationwide strategy for ethnic cohesion and domestic security coalesces, the trends point towards a China increasingly confident in its “correct” treatment of ethnic minorities even while its international relationships and image abroad are being harmed as a result.
- Foreign Affairs: The long shadow of Xinjiang: Anger grows in Muslim countries at China’s treatment of the Uighurs
- Made in China Journal: Undoing Lenin: On the recent changes to China’s ethnic policy
- South China Morning Post: Xi Jinping defends ‘totally correct’ Xinjiang policies despite growing human rights concerns