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China's Treatment of Uighurs Warrants Fresh Sanctions

Armand Yazdani

Posted on February 7, 2021 23:10

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The new Biden Administration must impose more sanctions on China for its human rights violations to the Uighur people.

China’s Communist Party has used Vocational Education and Training Centers, or internment camps, as part of their “war on terror.” Referred to as re-education camps by advocates, China is aiming to disempower the Uighur minority in Xinjiang. In these camps, many Uighurs have been subjected to a variety of inhumane conditions, leading the Trump Administration to accuse China of genocide against Uighur Muslims. To follow up on that accusation, the Biden Administration must impose fresh sanctions on China. 


The internment camps have relentlessly persecuted several Uighur Muslims, often forcing them to languish in squalor. Even though Xinjiang - populated with 11 million Uighurs - is designated an autonomous region, that status hasn’t stopped the Chinese government from deliberately enforcing inhumane treatment upon the Muslim Turkic people. According to a report by anthropologist Adrian Zenz, China is forcing Uighur women to sterilize. The report found that the government threatened to send women to camps if they didn’t have abortions for pregnancies above birth quotas. Forced sterilization here isn’t a necessity; it’s the erasure of an ethnicity. In allegedly forcing these abortions, the government is vying to reduce, if not eliminate, the Uighur people. Many of the Uighurs and other members of the camps were arrested for simply contacting individuals from countries China deems a threat, supporting Uighur separatists - who refer to Xinjiang as East Turkestan - such as Afghanistan or Turkey, or attending mosque services. Above all, former members of camps have echoed horror stories of officials using waterboarding and other cruel punishments in addition to communist propaganda. 


The camp’s existence in and of itself threatens the human rights of Uighur Muslims and the other detainees sent there. According to a leak at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the one million detainees were detained without a trial. The leak known as the “China Cables” revealed a memo detailing how officials were to run camps. This 9-page memo laid out disciplinary requirements for basic tasks such as eating, sleeping, and mandated roll calls. Privacy was also something of which the Uighurs were deprived. The memo instructed officials to impose  “full video surveillance coverage of dormitories and classrooms free of blind spots.” And, unsurprisingly, according to the China Cables, the camps were supposed to “transform” the Uighurs by stripping away their old beliefs and language before substituting those for Mandarin and the beliefs of China’s Communist Party. 


China’s treatment of the Uighurs is an abomination and a flagrant violation of their human rights, which is why the Biden Administration must slap more sanctions onto the country. The Communist Party’s use of waterboarding, close surveillance, and several other tactics have been made to destroy the Uighurs’ culture. Imposing more sanctions on the country will let the Chinese government know the United States opposes their oppression. 

Armand Yazdani

Posted on February 7, 2021 23:10

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Source: The Hill
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