President Donald Trump is taking aim at the “cultural genocide” taking place in China’s concentration camps – particularly amongst the Communist nation’s Uighur population.
After United States Congress overwhelmingly passed the Uighur Human Rights Policy Act, Trump signed it into law last week – legislation that was pushed by the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom’s (USCIRF) newly appointed Nury Turkel.
“[The legislation] requires the administration to report on human rights abuses in Xinjiang – including formal estimates of the number of Uighurs and others detained in concentration camps,” Turkel told CBN News, noting that some 3 million Uighurs are forcibly being detained today. "This is the first time a legislative body around the world in Uighur's human history passed a significant bill to address Uighur's political, economic, social and religious rights, [and] with the Uighur law in place, the administration will be directed to impose the global Magnitsky sanctions that go after Chinese officials who have been responsible for persecuting religious and ethnic minorities in China."
Worship the state first …
As an ethnic minority in China, Uighurs – most being practicing Muslims – have been targeted by the atheistic Chinese government for years, which has also cracked down on the Christian house church movement.
“Since the spring of 2017, China has been transferring Uighurs living in China's Xinjiang province into so-called re-education camps that international observers call modern-day concentration camps,” CBN News reported. “In recent years, China's Communist regime has turned up the heat in its war against people of faith – specifically targeting Christians and Muslims.”
Zero tolerance is shown to those who exhibit more devotion to their faith than to the state.
"They're forcing Uighurs and others to denounce their religious practices, and they've been forcing Uighurs to go through or adopt a non-traditional, non-religious way of life – which is much more common for the ruling Hun Chinese people," Turkel pointed out.
Born as a Uighur Muslim in a Chinese prison camp before becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen, Turkel says today’s abuses are nothing less than modern-day genocide.
"When a government regime collectively punishes an ethnic group targeting their women and children – mainly because of their ethnic background and religious practices – meet the definition of cultural genocide," he maintained.
Uighurs are being singled out and forged into China’s massive economic machine.
“Over the past year, the Chinese government has ‘graduated’ thousands of Uighur detainees and assigned them to work in factories,” CBN News noted. “Reports indicate American companies operating in China – such as Nike, Calvin Klein and Apple – either directly employ or source from suppliers suspected of using Uighur detainees as forced labor.”
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and other lawmakers have introduced legislation to fight China’s systematic exploitation of Uighurs and other Muslims, as reported by USCIRF, which urges U.S. Customs officials to treat all goods imported from Xinjiang as products of forced labor.
"People should not be punished based on what they worship, what kind of lifestyle that they maintain and what kind of people that they're married to, [as] the Chinese government is even forcing Uighur women to marry Hun ethnic Chinese individuals with incentives – and even [in] some instances, threats," Turkel argues.
"Since the crisis came to surface, we've been receiving an enormous amount of support from the Christian communities, Jewish communities; but what is lacking is the other faith groups … No one should be persecuted for their religious practices … People should be able to practice – and it's a matter of privacy – and government should have no business in people's privacy when they're worshipping and when they're praying."
It is reported that even Uighurs fortunate enough to escape China cannot evade its detection.
“It’s well known that China uses its vast surveillance network to monitor its ethnic minorities, including Tibetans and Uighurs, but leaked documents – the Karakax list – from the western region of Xinjiang show that across Europe, exiled Uighurs report surveillance by the Chinese state and threats of harm to their relatives in Xinjiang if they make noise about Chinese repression at home,” an op-ed from The Hill revealed. “The Chinese government disputes reports of the records, but it appears this has become part of the new normal for China – even as it continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The unocovered documents give reasons for detaining several hundred Uighurs, and the Karakax list includes personal data on some 300 individuals who have relatives living outside China.
“The Chinese government has flagged ‘people who leave the country and do not return’ as a security risk in Xinjiang because of their possible ties to exiled groups deemed as ‘separatists’ by Beijing,” The Hill contributors Jianli Yang and Lianchao Han divulged. “Details about family members, social circles and religious beliefs, as well as perceived misdemeanors, are in the file.”
The list reportedly confirms the Chinese government’s surveillance and incarceration of hundreds from Karakax – a region where 90% are Turkic Uighur Muslims – while evidence of Uighurs being punished in Xinjiang for family members’ disloyalty abroad indicates a surveillance network extending thousands of miles westward created by Chinese state and intelligence agencies.
“The documents also contradict Beijing’s claims that its ‘re-education’ programs in Xinjiang are voluntary and target only violent extremists,” the column adds. “Justifications for imprisonment of Muslims include their praying at home, keeping in touch with relatives overseas and having more children than allowed by the state.”
Height of hypocrisy
In an alleged attempt to divert attention from its own human rights abuses, the Chinese Communist Party’s mouthpiece, The People’s Daily, published a cartoon of The White House besmeared in blood and engulfed in tear gas.
“Standing on top of it is a crumbling Statue of Liberty – revealing her true identity as the police officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck and now faces murder charges for suffocating him to death,” ForeignPolicy.com described.
Such sentiment was corroborated by Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian.
“The current situation reflects once more the severity of the problems of racism and police violence in the U.S.,” Lijian stated at a press conference.
However, it is contended that the true motivation behind China’s condemnation of the U.S. is its desire to stop incoming criticism for its continued inhumane treatment of its own citizens.
“Underneath Beijing’s commentary on the U.S. unrest is a deeply cynical voice that asks, ‘If the U.S. authorities can do it, why shouldn’t we?’” ForeignPolicy.com’s Ho-fung Hung asserted. “Beijing’s criticism of the United States, however, differs from that seen around the globe, [as] China’s critique does not stem from a genuine concern for universal human rights and the well-being of African Americans – the Chinese people have not been given any opportunity to protest in solidarity with Americans … or against the abuses of black residents in China itself. Anti-black racism remains rampant on the Chinese Internet – untouched by censors who seek to crush opinions the government dislikes.”