Detainment centers for Muslims in China are growing

A huge network of forced-labor prisons in western China is used to detain Muslims and force them to let go of religious beliefs and devote themselves to the Party.

The United Nations, the U.S., and other governments have called on China to close the detention centers but China insists they are an opportunity to retrain its citizens, to help to bring skills and prosperity to this population.

what’s happening

Chinese officials have rounded up an estimated one million Uighurs. The Uighurs are Muslims, 11 million of whom live as a minority in Xinjiang province in China, as well as some areas outside China. Uighurs can be sent to facilities for any reason, or for no reason.

Chinese authorities set up a policing system that gives them the ability to monitor every movement of the people in this area. About every 100 yards, there is a newly erected police station, with 24-hour surveillance and facial recognition cameras.

iPhones are regularly searched for “Islamic content,” which is then deleted.

People in the Xinjiang province are classified into three categories: trustworthy, questionable and untrustworthy.
If you are Han Chinese, you are “trustworthy” and unrestricted; if you are a Uighur, you are automatically put into the questionable category, simply because of your ethnicity and religion.

Few specifics are known about the detention centers, except for a handful of stories from former prisoners that describe psychological and physical abuse by the Chinese.

why are the Chinese doing this

The Xinjiang province is China’s biggest domestic producer of oil and gas, and it is geographically an important link in the Belt and Road Initiative, which is a huge infrastructure plan that China hopes to build to connect China to Europe and the Middle East through trade. Also, as the area has developed, it attracted Han Chinese, setting up a clash between native Chinese (Han) and minority Uighurs.

Geek out on the Belt and Road initiative here.

Given China’s heavy-handed crackdowns and ambitious economic plans, can China dominate the world?


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