Scores of Chinese and foreign companies producing “well-known global brands” may be involved in human trafficking, forced labour and other human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang region, a United Nations working group said on Monday, calling more attention to an issue that Beijing is increasingly on the defensive about.
As allegations of human rights violations in Xinjiang mount, with a growing number of Western lawmakers accusing China of genocide, Beijing is focusing on discrediting the female Uighur witnesses behind recent reports of abuse.
Chinese officials have named women, disclosed what they say is private medical data and information on the women’s fertility, and accused some of having affairs and one of having a sexually transmitted disease. The officials said the information was evidence of bad character, invalidating the women’s accounts of abuse in Xinjiang.
“The situation is much, much worse than what is being reported. The Uyghur people have disappeared. Death is everywhere right now.”
These are the words of Dr Erkin Sidick, a Uyghur American who is the President of the Uyghur Projects Foundation and senior advisor to the World Uyghur Congress.
He claims that the total number of Uyghur detainees in camps in China and those presumed dead now exceeds the total number of Jews detained and killed during the Holocaust – an allegation that dwarfs previous reports on China’s ‘demographic genocide’ in Xinjiang, or what was once East Turkestan.
Japanese clothing and lifestyle brand Muji says it has stopped exporting cotton sourced in Xinjiang to the United States, but rights groups say the company has done little to remove Xinjiang cotton — which has been linked forced labor by mostly ethnic Uyghur detainees who have committed no crime — from its supply chain.
The company said in comments e-mailed to RFA that since the outgoing Trump administration had banned imports of cotton and tomato products from Xinjiang last month, it had stopped exporting items made with Xinjiang cotton there “to comply with U.S. laws and regulations.”
The ban, which came after reports emerged that the mass incarceration camps in Xinjiang were increasingly linked to lucrative production processes using forced labor….
China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi warned the Biden administration not to cross Beijing’s “red line” in a half-hour speech on the evening of Feb. 1.
“The United States should stop interference in the affairs of Hong Kong, Tibet, and Xinjiang,” Yang said, calling the issues regarding the three regions China’s “internal affairs.” He made the remarks while speaking at a virtual event hosted by New York-based nonprofit the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.
Yang added: “They constitute a red line that must not be crossed. Any trespassing would end up undermining China-U.S. relations and the United States’ own interests.”
He also told the United States that it should “strictly abide by the One China principle” with regards to Taiwan, a self-ruled island that Beijing claims is part of its territory.
Over the past few years, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has incarcerated more than a million ethnic Uyghurs from Xinjiang Province (formerly East Turkistan) in “re-education camps” and forced labor factories. Some report more than 3 million are held in these camps.
Uyghur women are being forcibly aborted and sterilized and Han Chinese men are forcibly living in Uyghur homes. Xinjiang Province has become a surveillance state.
The Treasury Department moved to sanction the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), its former Political Commissar, and its former Deputy Party Secretary and Commander on Friday for “serious human rights abuse against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, which reportedly include mass arbitrary detention and severe physical abuse.”
XPCC, however, has liaised with Harvard’s Ash Center for Innovation and Diplomacy as part of its “China’s Leaders in Development Program,” inaugurated in 2001.
The program trained officials from the XPCC in 2012 and 2011, supplying them with meetings at the U.S. State Department, the World Bank, and, as the program’s description notes, other “local, state, and federal government organizations in the United States.”
China’s war against Xinjiang has touched a new law as reports claim that Chinese authorities have built a public toilet on the site of a demolished mosque.
The incident took place in the Atush region of Xinjiang. The mosque in the Suntagh village was demolished in 2018. Two years later, a public toilet stands in its place. The people of Suntagh have toilets at home and the village barely receives tourists, so locals say there is no need for the public toilet.
Chinese authorities know it as well that’s why the new stalls have not even been opened to the public. The bitter truth is China wants to target the Uighur Muslims of Xinjiang. China has destroyed 70 per cent of the mosques in Xinjiang and with this toilet, it is only adding insult to injury.
‘Re-education’, forced labour and surveillance beyond Xinjiang.
The Chinese government has facilitated the mass transfer of Uyghur and other ethnic minority1 citizens from the far west region of Xinjiang to factories across the country. Under conditions that strongly suggest forced labour, Uyghurs are working in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 82 well-known global brands in the technology, clothing and automotive sectors, including Apple, BMW, Gap, Huawei, Nike, Samsung, Sony and Volkswagen.
This report estimates that more than 80,000 Uyghurs were transferred out of Xinjiang to work in factories across China between 2017 and 2019, and some of them were sent directly from detention camps.2 The estimated figure is conservative and the actual figure is likely to be far higher. In factories far away from home, they typically live in segregated dormitories,3 undergo organised Mandarin and ideological training outside working hours,4 are subject to constant surveillance, and are forbidden from participating in religious observances.5 Numerous sources, including government documents, show that transferred workers are assigned minders and have limited freedom of movement.6
The lure of the massive Chinese market has led Hollywood to readily self-censor its films to please Beijing, according to a new report by Pen America, an anti-censorship group.
Screenwriters, producers and directors in the huge US film industry are changing scripts, deleting scenes and altering other content, afraid of offending Chinese censors who control the gateway to the country’s 1.4 billion consumers, according to the report released Wednesday.
The actions include everything from deleting the Taiwanese flag from Tom Cruise’s bomber jacket in the upcoming Top Gun: Maverick, to removing China as the source of a zombie virus in 2013’s World War Z.
But it also means completely avoiding sensitive issues including Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong politics, Xinjiang and the portrayal of LGBTQ characters, the report said.
Faced with blacklisting and other punitive measures, Hollywood producers are even censoring films not targeting the Chinese market, in order to not impact others planned for Chinese theaters, Pen America says.
As a model for the massive Chinese online retailer Taobao, the 31-year-old was well paid to flaunt his good looks in slick promotional videos for clothing brands.
But one video of Mr Ghappar is different. Instead of a glitzy studio or fashionable city street, the backdrop is a bare room with grubby walls and steel mesh on the window. And in place of the posing, Mr Ghappar sits silently with an anxious expression on his face.
Holding the camera with his right hand, he reveals his dirty clothes, his swollen ankles, and a set of handcuffs fixing his left wrist to the metal frame of the bed – the only piece of furniture in the room.
Uyghurs in Xinjiang were forced to become Muslim and have been an integral part of China for thousands of years, Beijing said in a new report, in an attempt to justify its controversial crackdown against the ethnic minority in the far-western region.
China has sought to justify treatment of Uyghurs that Western countries have condemned as “cultural genocide”
Beijing’s report hits back at “double standards” of critics and defends “anti-terrorism” efforts
Experts say the white paper is a classic case of China’s ongoing information warfare
A white paper released on Sunday by China’s State Council Information Office — the Government’s propaganda arm — presents the ruling Communist Party’s interpretation of history, claiming “Islam is neither an indigenous nor the sole belief system of the Uyghur people”.
The report also said that Islam spread into Xinjiang by “the Arab Empire” and that the Turkic Uyghur people “endured slavery” at the hands of “the Turks”.
“Conversion to Islam was not a voluntary choice made by the common people, but a result of religious wars and imposition by the ruling class,” it said, declaring that the Government nevertheless respects “the Muslims’ right to their beliefs”.
Aydidar Kahar tucks her long hair behind her ear and smiles at the camera.
Uyghurs are using #StillNoInfo to demand news about their missing loved ones
Chinese state media releases a slew of testimonies from relatives to say they’re “safe and sound”
Experts say the family members are coerced or intimidated for propaganda purposes
She takes the viewer on a tour of a mall in Xinjiang — decked out with luxury brands like Versace, Gucci and Dior — before the video abruptly cuts to her sitting at a desk, staring straight into the camera lens.
“Isn’t the department store and the subway you just saw an epitome of the dramatic changes in Xinjiang?” she said, in a video broadcast by Chinese state-owned Global Times.
“Grandma, you have been defaming Xinjiang … people in Xinjiang are living a decent life.”
A leaked cache of secret Chinese Government documents reveals how authorities in Xinjiang province red-flagged 23 Australian citizens during a security crackdown that consigned tens of thousands of people to arbitrary detention and mass indoctrination.
Leaked Chinese government documents relate to the network of “training and education” camps in Xinjiang
They shed more light on the system of mass surveillance and detention used to subjugate minorities
Details about the operation of detention facilities show they are run like maximum security jails
The documents tell how the Australian citizens were identified among 75 people from China’s Muslim minorities who were singled out in the surveillance sweep because of their passports.
While the fate of the Australians is unknown, the confidential report instructs public security officials to deport or detain those foreign passport holders for whom “suspected terrorism cannot be ruled out”.