What is happening in China?
Despite a crackdown on foreign journalism and a string of denials from the Chinese government, camera footage, satellite footage, leaked documents, whistleblowers and testimonials from escapees all point to the conclusion that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is perpetrating a genocide against the indigenous people of its north-western region. This has been corroborated by the Holocaust Museam report, U.S. atrocity determination, Canadian genocide report, The Uyghur Tribunal and many others.
The Uyghurs are a cultural and ethnic minority in China, actively targeted by the government through the use of technology, under the guise of preventing terrorism. The CCP has ordered the reduced birth rate across the two largest prefectures by 84%, with some counties approaching 90 and even 100%. The reports of Dr. Adrian Zenz and reports from the ICIJ are some of the most extensive.
As of 2016, China has employed an initiative called the Integrated Joint Operations Platform (IJOP). Reverse engineering by Human Rights Watch shows the use of surveillance cameras, facial recognition software, and mobile user data to monitor and categorize individuals. These policies give global tech companies a platform to test their programs by experimenting on human subjects in the real world, and the Chinese government the ability to build databases of demographic, medical, and genetic information.
Once imprisoned, these Uyghur people are subject to inhumane practices. Uyghur children, taken from their parents, are subject to indoctrination against their culture and heritage, in favor of the CCP. Men are grouped together for forced labor, producing everything from face masks to consumer goods for global brands like Nike, Apple, and Volkswagen. These brands are actively exploiting slave labor.
Testimonies from those who have escaped and leaked data show that Uyghurs in these camps face physical torture, rape, medical manipulation, forced labor, and murder. In addition to the camps, recent records show increasing construction of cremation facilities nearby – while Uyghurs do not practice cremation as a matter of faith.
While China refers to them inconsistently as ‘Re-education’ camps, and more recently as ‘Vocational training centers,’ experts speculate that a million to as many as three million people are being kept in these open-air prisons.
The CCP has control on both state and international media, and has employed media blackouts, intimidation of the global Uyghur diaspora, and restricted access to international journalism. They also have been launching disinformation campaigns calling the Uyghur genocide “Western propaganda,” causing genocide denial worldwide. A common argument is that the CCP is not committing genocide since there have been no reports of mass killings. It is important to note, the definition of genocide goes beyond mass killing.
This technology is being exported to other countries while China is investing in their economies and technology infrastructure. This perpetuates violence and keeps international bodies from holding China accountable. In a joint statement to the High Commissioner of the United Nations, 22 nations criticized Beijing for “disturbing reports of large-scale arbitrary detentions” and “widespread surveillance and restrictions.” A day later, 37 other countries jumped to Beijing’s defense, with their own letter praising China’s human rights record, and dismissing the reported detentions.
It is the opinion of The Peace Project that if China is not held accountable now, the Uyghur Genocide tactics can be replicated in different areas of the world. Genocide will become more efficient and more difficult to stop.