“As China faced rising international censure last year over its mass internment of Muslim minorities, officials asserted that the indoctrination camps in the western region of Xinjiang had shrunk as former camp inmates rejoined society as reformed citizens.
Researchers at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute on Thursday challenged those claims with an investigation that found that the Xinjiang authorities had been expanding a variety of detention sites since last year.
Rather than being released, many detainees were likely being sent to prisons and perhaps other facilities, the investigation found, citing satellite images of new and expanded incarceration sites.
Nathan Ruser, a researcher who led the project at the institute, also called ASPI, said the findings undercut Chinese officials’ claims that inmates from the camps — which the government calls vocational training centers — had “graduated.” “
The Chinese government is forcing Tibetans to give up herding and farming to become wage laborers, cutting them off from ancient traditions and sacred landscapes. And that’s just the point.Credit…Purbu Zhaxi/Xinhua, via Getty Images
“Before Xinjiang, there was Tibet. Repressive policies tested there between 2012 and 2016 were then applied to the Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in northwestern China: entire cities covered in surveillance cameras, ubiquitous neighborhood police stations, residents made to report on another other.
Now that process also works the other way around. Xinjiang’s coercive labor program — which includes mandatory training for farmers and herders in centralized vocational facilities and their reassignment to state-assigned jobs, some far away — is being applied to Tibet. (Not the internment camps, though.)
Call this a feedback loop of forcible assimilation. It certainly is evidence of the scale of Beijing’s ruthless campaign to suppress cultural and ethnic differences — and not just in Tibet and Xinjiang.
To some, that concern may seem excessive or its timing politically opportunistic, but the danger posed by TikTok is real: In fact, it is only a stand-in for far greater risks.
The problem isn’t just TikTok. The tech giant Huawei — which the U.S. government blacklisted last year, calling it a threat to America’s national security — is another company with close connections to China. So is Zoom, the U.S.-based teleconferencing service provider established by a billionaire Chinese immigrant, which uses software partially developed in China.
Credit…Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images — LightRocket, via Getty Images
All are thoroughly embedded there, reaching deep into offices and homes — shaping how Americans work, learn and play. Companies with ties to China or its government now occupy critical choke points of American society.
This is no accident. President Xi Jinping has a dream — a “Chinese Dream” of global dominance — and his strategy for achieving that has two main prongs.
The first is the traditional and tangible hard-power push to set up military bases and seaports controlled by Chinese interests around the world, and it has been much discussed by China observers.