Undercover documentary . . .
A recent documentary from Vice News shed more light on the situation of Muslim minorities in China’s Xinjiang province, including the Uighur people. The situation has been described as a ‘21st century police state.’ Vice journalists posed as travel bloggers and reported on vocational training centres, which many believe are in fact detainment centres, and the highly-surveilled lives of the province’s residents. The documentary showed how items that could be used as weapons inside detention centres were controlled or monitored, such as an axe used for chopping wood being chained to the ground and the use of QR codes on knives.
Mixed international response . . .
Human rights watchers have expressed disappointment that leaders did not raise the issue of China’s Uighurs more prominently at the recent G20 Summit. Amnesty International Malaysia noted that when the Malaysian religious affairs minister visited a ‘vocational and training institution’ in Xinjiang, he did not publicly denounce the situation. Last month, the United Nations counter-terrorism chief also visited and came under similar criticisms.
Not a good time for Canada? . . .
In June, the Canadian government condemned the “actions towards minorities like the Uighurs in western China.” However, Canada did not raise the issue with China during bilateral talks at the G20. No doubt, the issue took a back seat to addressing detained Canadians and the block on canola and meat exports. It remains to be seen whether Canadian officials see space to raise the issue of the conditions of minorities living in Xinjiang.
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China: Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang's regular press conference on July 3, 2019
- Business Insider: Chilling undercover footage taken inside China's most oppressive region
- South China Morning Post: China calls Xinjiang camps training centres