Little is known about the brutal oppression Uyghurs face by the Chinese Authorities in the autonomous territory of northwest China called East Turkestan or “Xinjiang”.
In the last 12-18 months, China has put more than a million Uyghurs in Nazi style concentration camps, where they are held without charge or any terms of release.
There have been many reports that Muslims have been forbidden from fasting during Ramadan, forbidden from wearing their traditional dress and even keeping a beard.
As of 2017, the Uyghur language has been banned from schools and a religious crack-down has morphed into a total ban of Islam. They have demolished thousands of mosques (almost 70 percent) in Kashgar city and confiscated religious books, including the Quran.
During nearly six decades of annexation, China has pursued a policy of assimilation and changed the demographics of the region.
In 1949, Uyghurs represented 75% of the total population whilst the Hans only represented 7%. Through a policy of internal migration which incentivises Han settlers with economic packages, China has diluted the population. Now Uyghurs only represent 46% of the total population whilst the Chinese Han represent 40%.
Despite the Uyghurs having a rich history of over a thousand years in East Turkestan, China is imposing a forced assimilation policy upon the predominantly Turkic-speaking Uyghur Muslims. This has created new levels of tensions which China has responded to through the use of overwhelming force and political repression.
The reason for this oppression is because Uyghurs are seen as a barrier to Xi’s Jinping’s ambitions to use Xinjiang as springboard to Central Asia and beyond. Central Asia has vast energy resources, and the oil and natural gas doesn’t have to be loaded into tankers and shipped by sea. Instead, it is moved by pipeline in a steady flow to China’s booming coast. And the gateway to Central Asia is Xinjiang.
The current use of concentration camps as a tool of collective punishment of Uyghurs is designed to assimilate the indigenous population so that they adhere to the Chinese Communist party’s values. Raise awareness of the Uyghurs by liking and sharing this video.