Comment by Jim Campbell
December 4th, 2019
The crackdown by the Chinese on Muslims is genocide and ethnic cleansing pure and simple.
While the Nancy Pelosi led House of Representatives recently passed legislation sanctioning Chinese officials her gesture will be as meaningless as the vast majority of legislation submitted by the legislators in the Democrat/socialist party.
She would do well to get her own house in order so the U.S. doesn’t end up as a complete surveillance state like China.
It’s a safe bet the hard left members in her party would be just fine with that.
Beijing’s Secrets of Xinjiang
The Wall Street Journal
By Andrew Duehren in Washington and Eva Dou in Beijing
December 4th, 2019
An extraordinary leak from within China’s Communist Party government sheds new light on President Xi Jinping’s campaign of repression against Muslim Uighurs in the western Xinjiang region.
The scale of the crackdown laid bare, on top of what the world already had pieced together about Beijing’s anti-Muslim cultural cleansing, demands a response. The leaks offer clues to what such a response might be.
The existence of camps in which the government is confining more than a million Uighurs has been known for some time, and foreign reporters have managed to get close enough to the walls and fences to photograph them.
Outside analysts also have pieced together high-tech elements of the surveillance state Beijing has developed to control Xinjiang, such as facial-recognition technology.
Now the 403 pages of documents reported in The New York Times Saturday offer the first glimpse from the inside of how the Party has justified this repression to itself, and the sort of planning that goes into 21st-century political and thought control.
The cache includes internal speeches by Mr. Xi and other Party leaders explaining their persecution of a minority ethnic group, as well as how-to manuals for local officials on the ground.
A surprise is the extent to which Mr. Xi appeals to Western examples to excuse himself.
The papers show he seized on a string of terror attacks committed by Uighur extremists in 2014 as a pretext for what became a wide-reaching crackdown, and he claimed to be mimicking some American counterterror policies.
The papers also show how 21st-century totalitarians try to get away with it. Conflate Uighur identity with Islamist extremism, tag both as a “virus,” and then label Uighur cultural traditions such as not smoking as “symptoms.”
Speaking of diseases, make sure real ones don’t spread in camps with so many inmates. If Party officials dissent—and at least 12,000 Party members were investigated for supposedly doing so—arrest them or subject them to humiliating internal discipline.
Another document offered local officials a Q&A on dealing with elite Uighur students who returned home from universities to discover their families were in prison camps: Intercept the students, tell them their families aren’t criminals but that the student’s own behavior will determine how long his parents or siblings languish in a camp and tell students they should be grateful the Party is ideologically reeducating their relatives.
Most striking is how embarrassed Beijing appears by all this. Mr. Xi in one 2014 speech urged cadres to ignore “hostile forces” who might complain about the persecution of the Uighurs.
Yet this exhortation not to fear foreign criticism was delivered in secret—because Beijing would rather no one knows what it’s doing in Xinjiang.
A prime objective of the student-handling program is to discourage them from spreading the news of their families’ incarceration via social media.
The Party was sufficiently embarrassed about its crackdown that when local officials were punished for not cracking down enough, neither the Chinese public nor foreigners were told that was the reason someone was removed from office or imprisoned.
Mr. Xi has tried to consolidate his power and build a cult of personality, and his repression of the Uighurs fits that pattern.
But the leaked documents suggest there is internal dissent in Beijing’s corridors of power that could grow and challenge Mr. Xi if his Uighur repression begins to carry international costs.
The same applies to a crackdown in Hong Kong.
So far, however, the West has been largely silent, and Muslim countries are worse.
A good start would be to put Xinjiang and Hong Kong on the public agenda of all world forums involving Chinese leaders.
China will try to intimidate into silence countries that depend on its money and trade, but that’s no excuse for Western leaders, the World Bank or United Nations. Muslim leaders should also be called out for their silence.
In October the U.S. finally imposed sanctions on Chinese individuals and groups involved in the eradication campaign against Uighur culture, but more can be done.
Chinese leaders care about world opinion, and they need to hear that the world will not ignore their abuses against the Uighurs.
On Tuesday, China’s government signaled its willingness to insert itself in Hong Kong’s political crisis by declaring its sole authority to determine whether the city’s laws are unconstitutional.