In a whitepaper published by the State Council Information Office, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has insinuated that the Uyghur Muslims are responsible for what China is doing to them. In a startling claim, China has revealed that it has placed over 1.29 million people in re-education camps between 2014 and 2019 in the Uyghur-dominated province of Xinjiang.
The whitepaper, titled, “Employment and Labour Rights in Xinjiang” has shrewdly tweaked coercive re-education camps as ‘vocational training centres’ to avoid global criticism.
China highlights the problematic religious beliefs of people in Xinjiang
The whitepaper claimed that Uyghur Muslims were ‘terrorists’ who believed in the ‘afterlife’ and rejected modern science owing to religious dogmatism. The Chinese regime, keeping the rise of radical Islam in mind, justified, “Terrorists, separatists and religious extremists have long preached that “the afterlife is fated” and that “religious teachings are superior to state laws”, inciting the public to resist learning the standard spoken and written the Chinese language, reject modern science, and refuse to improve their vocational skills, economic conditions, and the ability to better their own lives.”
CCP boasts about ‘training’ 1.29 million workers in 5 years
Reiterating that such outdated ideas led to poor educational opportunities and employability, they needed to undergo ‘vocational training’ for being able to be a part of the mainstream. “Through vocational training, Xinjiang has built a large knowledge-based, skilled and innovative workforce that meets the requirements of the new era. Every year from 2014 to 2019 Xinjiang provided training sessions to an average of 1.29 million urban and rural workers, of which 451,400 were in southern Xinjiang,” the report emphasised.
It further stated, “From 2014 to 2019, the total number of people employed in Xinjiang rose from 11.35 million to 13.3 million, an increase of 17.2 percent. The average annual increase in urban employment was more than 471,200 people (148,000 in southern Xinjiang, accounting for 31.4 percent)”
Reportedly, Xinjiang now has an additional 2.59 million people in rural workforce with over 1.65 million of them in the southern part of the province. In its whitepaper, the Chinese regime emphasised, “Xinjiang has provided dynamic, categorized and targeted assistance to people having difficulty finding work and to zero-employment households in the entire autonomous region — having each and every one of them identified, registered, assisted, and ensured stable employment.” It claimed to have helped Xinjiang residents develop at least one skill that would help them find one ‘stable’ source of employment.
Persecution of Uyghur Muslims in China
According to a 2017 report by the head of the Institute of Sociology at the Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences, the increasing Muslim population in Xinjiang contributed to increased political risk, poverty, and extremism. One of the reasons cited behind their high birth rates was the Islamic belief that the foetus was a gift from God.
However, experts are of the view that it is a strategy of the Communist Party of China (CCP) to strip Uighurs of their religious and ethnic identity and assimilate them into the dominant Han Chinese ethnicity. While Uighur Muslims are often subjected to re-educational programs, forced labour, and digital surveillance, their children are indoctrinated in orphanages.
Reportedly, Uighur Muslims have been the subject of a massive crackdown since 2017. They were held up in prisons for praying, travelling abroad, or even using social media under the pretext of containing ‘ religious extremism’. According to researcher Zenz, two county and townships have directed authorities to leave no ‘blind spots’, contain illegal births, and decrease fertility levels.