Chinese labor programs in Xinjiang are designed, at least in part, to reduce the population density of the Uighur ethnic minority group, according to a study accidentally published online.
The Chinese report, produced by academics at Nankai University, was withdrawn in mid-2020, but a copy was published. archived by academic Dr. Adrian Zenz. It adds to the growing body of evidence of Beijing’s concerted efforts to persecute the Uighurs in what human rights experts and some governments have called cultural genocide.
The Chinese government denies the allegations of forced labor and labor transfers in Xinjiang, saying the work programs are a voluntary element of its poverty alleviation goals. However, the Nankai report said that labor transfers were also a long-term measure that “not only reduces the density of the Uyghur population in Xinjiang, but is also an important method of influencing, melting and assimilating Uighur minorities.” .
“That they gradually change their way of thinking and understanding, and transform their values and vision of life through a change of environment and through work,” says the report.
He recommended that the government expand the programs to the eastern and central regions of China to meet labor demands.
The report emphasized that the programs were “voluntary” but also provided conflicting details, such as worker export targets and the need for security guards on hiring teams.
It also seemed to suggest that the authorities had gone too far in their crackdown and that the demonization of the Uighurs had led some local and provincial authorities to refuse to accept Xinjiang workers for “security reasons”. This situation was a “serious obstacle” to the country’s objectives, he said.
Uighurs who had “participated in riots” were a minority and all had been admitted to education and training centers, what the Chinese authorities refer to as the network of detention camps. “It should not be assumed that the entire Uighur population are rioters,” he said. “This is very detrimental to the long-term stability of Xinjiang.”
A review of the Nankai report and other Zenz supporting materials included a legal analysis by former US Holocaust Memorial Museum Senior Advisor Erin Farrell Rosenberg, who found “credible reasons to conclude” that the job transfer program from Xinjiang met the criteria for two offenses. against humanity.
“Specifically, there is substantial evidence that the Chinese government is carrying out a widespread and systematic attack against the Uighur civilian population in accordance with government policy,” Rosenberg said. “Furthermore, there are credible reasons to conclude that crimes against humanity of forcible transfer and persecution are being committed as part of the attack.”
Both Zenz and Rosenberg expressed concern that Uighur transfer programs had been viewed primarily through the lens of forced labor “and not in relation to the forcible displacement of Uighurs from their homes and communities,” Rosenberg wrote.
“While there may be overlap depending on the factual circumstances in question, the protected interests at stake that have led to the prohibitions of slavery and forcible transfer are distinct and each merits the accountability of the perpetrators and a robust response international in its own right “.
in a statement to the BBCThe Chinese government said the report “reflects only the author’s personal opinion and much of its content is not in line with the facts.”
China maintains general denials of the atrocities committed in Xinjiang, including accusations of arbitrary detention of approximately 1 million people, forced sterilization and assault of women, repression or destruction of cultural and religious traditions and sites, and intense surveillance. He says the detention camps, which he once denied existed, are vocational training centers used to tackle religious extremism. In recent weeks, officials have also publicly targeting individual Uyghur women who have talked about their experiences.
China said on Tuesday it was discussing a visit to its Xinjiang region by United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet, but should not depart with the aim of condemning its policies.
Bachelet said on Friday that reports of arbitrary detentions, ill-treatment, sexual violence and forced labor in Xinjiang required a thorough and independent assessment of the situation.
“The door to Xinjiang is always open and we welcome the High Commissioner to visit Xinjiang. Communication is maintained between the two sides, but the purpose of the visit is to provide exchanges and cooperation rather than … the so-called ‘guilt rather than proven’ investigation, “Chinese delegate Jiang Duan told the council. of human rights of the UN.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism