World China kept building new Uighur internment camps in Xinjiang after claiming that detainees had 'graduated,' report says
Beijing holds military exercises near Taiwan as US diplomat visits
China said Friday it was conducting military exercises near the Taiwan Strait, as a top US diplomat visits the self-ruled island in a move that has angered Beijing. Relations between the United States and China are at their lowest point in decades, with the two sides clashing over a range of trade, military and security issues as well as the coronavirus pandemic. China's Communist leadership baulks at any recognition of Taiwan -- which has been ruled separately from China since the end of a civil war in 1949 -- and has mounted a decades-long policy of marginalising the democratic island.
- China has continued to build suspected detainment camps for Uighur Muslims after claiming internationally that detainees have "graduated," .
- Researchers at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) mapped 380 suspected camps that had been built or expanded since 2017.
- China initially refused to acknowledge the existence of the camps but later said they were for the "re-education" of Uighurs and other ethnic groups.
- In December 2019, Chinese officials claimed without evidence and were living a happy life.
- But the evidence gathered by ASPI suggests that detainees may be being moved to newly-built and higher-security facilities.
China has continued to build suspected detention facilities in the western region of Xinjiang, despite officials'that all the camp's "trainees" had "graduated" from its programs, .
Thai protesters kick off weekend of rallies
Pro-democracy protesters took to the streets of Bangkok Saturday as a rally expected to draw tens of thousands of people kicked off calling for PM Prayut Chan-O-Cha to step down and demanding reforms to the monarchy. But unprecedented calls from some protesters for frank discussions about the monarchy have sent shockwaves through the kingdom. King Maha Vajiralongkorn sits at the apex of Thai power, buttressed by the kingdom's military and billionaire clans, and commands a fortune estimated to be worth up to $60 billion.
Using satellite imagery, victim testimony, government reports and on-the-ground journalistic reports, researchers from the(ASPI) reported and mapped a total of 380 suspected facilities in the region that had been built or expanded since 2017.
They added that 61 sites were expanded between July 2019 and July 2020 alone — many to become more securitized — and 14 are still under construction as of July 2020.
The ASPI report is one of the most comprehensive mapping of such camps since the Chinese governmentmembers of the Uighur Muslim population of the state in 2017.
by the activist group the in November 2019 estimated that there were 391 suspected camps in existence.
Xinjiang government confirms huge birth rate drop but denies forced sterilization of women
Chinese officials have officially acknowledged birth rates in Xinjiang dropped by almost a third in 2018, compared to the previous year, in a letter to CNN in which they also denied reports of forced sterilization and genocide by authorities in the far western region. © photo illustration/getty images The Xinjiang government sent CNN the six-page fax in response to questions for an article published in July that documented a campaign of abuse and control by Beijing targeting women from the Uyghur minority, a Muslim ethnic group numbering more than 10 million people.
China officially denied the existence of the camps up until 2018, but in October that year, framing them as facilities that tackle extremism through "thought transformation," and "vocational training."
Beijing has often claimed that it is preventing Uighurs, a mostly-Muslim ethnic group, from being influenced by religious radicalism or being affected by poverty.
Researchers estimate that at least 1 million Uighurs have been detained in the camps.
In the face of China's claims, victim testimonies have detailed physical and psychological torture in some of the camps, including.
Detainees have been forced to sing propaganda songs for their food and repeat lines in praise of Chinese premier Xi Jinping, one victim told the BBC's "Newsnight." The effects of the camps made detainees look as though they had "lost their memory," he told the program.
China Brings Xinjiang-Style Mass Labor to Tibet, Report Says
China is instituting a mass labor system in Tibet similar to the one in neighboring Xinjiang, the Jamestown Foundation said, despite intensifying global scrutiny of Beijing’s policies toward ethnic minorities. Tibet has since last year introduced policies promoting “the systematic, centralized, and large-scale training and transfer of ‘rural surplus laborers’” to other parts of Tibet and other regions, the Jamestown Foundation said in a report released Tuesday.
Relatives living outside Xinjiang have been cut off from people in the region for fear of getting into trouble, with many exiled Uighursthat they had been blocked by their family.
China says detainees have 'graduated,' but suspected camps seem to be growing
In December 2019, Xinjiang officials said without evidence that all "trainees" participating in its programs have
According to ASPI, 70 of the sites it had found — most of them lower-security facilities — appear to be being desecuritized, with the removal of fencing and perimeter walls. Eight may have been closed, the report said.
But this doesn't automatically mean the program is winding up, ASPI said.
"Instead, available evidence suggests that many extrajudicial detainees in Xinjiang's vast 're-education' network are now being formally charged and locked up in higher security facilities, including newly built or expanded prisons, or sent to walled factory compounds for coerced labor assignments," the researchers said.
Why is China cracking down on its 'model minority'?
China's forceful implementation of a new language policy in Inner Mongolia has drawn criticism, even from the Communist Party elite.“We have no way out. There’s nothing we can do,” said Gangbater, a herder in Xilingol League, a central part of China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region, where mass protests broke out three weeks ago when the government implemented a new “bilingual education” program to replace the Mongolian language with Chinese in half of Mongol school classes.
Business Insider has contacted the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United Kingdom for comment on the ASPI report.
From low- to high-security sites
The ASPI report defines four kinds of suspected internment camps, ranging from lower-security re-education camps to maximum security prisons.
The report says that the suspected lower-security camps have had features like barbed wire removed — which had previously formed "tunnels" filtering detainees between buildings.
Around half of the 14 new facilities currently under construction are high-security sites, "which may suggest a shift in usage from the lower-security, 're-education centers' toward higher-security prison-style facilities," the report said.
The researchers noted that the evidence is not conclusive, but said that the desecuritization of some low-security camps matches survivors' suggestion that those who have not shown satisfactory progress could have been transferred to the newly expanded higher security sites.
One brand-new site in Kashgar just opened in January, the report said, with 33-feet-high watchtowers and a 45-foot-high perimeter wall. The researchers estimate it can accommodate more than 10,000 people.
A Pakistani father's ordeal: China seized his Uighur son and sent his daughters to an orphanage
China's oppression of Muslims reaches beyond Xinjiang into Pakistan. Why does it stay quiet?The two had been in Pakistan for three weeks when they received a phone call from back home in the Chinese region of Xinjiang. Hayat's wife, an ethnic Uighur, had been detained. He and Arafat raced to the border, where Chinese police were waiting. They arrested Arafat, a Uighur like his mother, saying he would be questioned on what he had done in Pakistan.
Video: Leaked documents give chilling look inside Chinese Muslim detention camps (NBC News)
Both Trump's and Biden's platforms underline US struggle with China .
With China flexing its muscles like never before, Donald Trump and Joe Biden try to convince voters that their policies will be better for trade, technology and human rights. They also promise to lessen US dependence on Beijing, a campaign pledge that may prove difficult to fulfill.Chinese President Xi Jinping and then-Vice President Joe Biden raise their glasses in a toast during a luncheon at the State Department, in Washington, Sept. 25, 2015.