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Utopia Talk / Politics / China knows how to deal with Muslims
| Sat Sep 01 12:33:42|
BEIJING >> China said Thursday that U.S. lawmakers were wasting taxpayer money by urging President Donald Trump’s administration to impose sanctions on Chinese officials allegedly tied to the mass internment of ethnic minority Muslims in camps in the far west.
The lawmakers sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin urging the government to apply sanctions to address the “ongoing human rights crisis” in the region of Xinjiang, in the latest sign that the detentions are raising concerns among Western leaders and governments.
Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang are being detained and tortured and face “egregious restrictions on religious practice and culture” and other abuses, said the letter, which was signed by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith and 15 others. It was provided to the media on Wednesday.
The letter singles out Xinjiang’s top official, Chen Quanguo, accused by many of turning the region into a police surveillance state and implementing a system of internment camps, also known as “re-education centers,” where members of the Uighur and other Muslim minorities are locked up for months without trial.
“The detention of as many as a million or more Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in ‘political reeducation’ center or camps requires a tough, targeted, and global response,” the letter said.
Former detainees who spoke to The Associated Press described the internment camps as facilities policed by armed guards where Muslims were forced to disavow their religious beliefs, criticize themselves and their loved ones and give thanks to the ruling Communist Party. Beatings and deaths have been reported despite authorities’ tight control on information from the region.
The detention program has swept up people, including relatives of American citizens, on ostensible offenses ranging from accessing foreign websites to contacting overseas relatives. Other aspects of the security crackdown the AP has detailed include all-encompassing digital surveillance, mass deployment of police and severe regulations against religious customs and dress.
On Thursday in Beijing, the Foreign Ministry said Chinese citizens enjoy freedom of religion according to the law and that the American lawmakers should not “threaten to impose sanctions at every turn on other countries.”
“I would like to advise the individual U.S. lawmakers to focus on and perform their duties well because they are spending taxpayer money,” spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters. “They should certainly serve the Americans properly instead of poking their noses in other countries’ affairs and pretending to be a judge of human rights.”
China denies such internment camps exist but says criminals involved in minor offenses are sent to “vocational education and employment training centers” to help with their rehabilitation and reintegration into society.
“The argument that ‘a million Uighurs are detained in re-education centers’ is completely untrue,” Chinese representative Hu Lianhe said earlier this month in responding to questions raised by the U.N.’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in Geneva.
China insists tough measures are needed as part of a “People’s War on Terror” to purge separatist and religious extremist elements from Xinjiang, a vast region with more than 10 million Muslims. Deadly ethnic riots in its capital in 2009 killed hundreds and sporadic violence occurred in subsequent years. But reports of violence are increasingly rare and the existence of an effective organized resistance to Chinese rule is widely doubted.
China’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter.
Rubio and Smith had raised the possibility of imposing sanctions on Chinese officials under the 2016 Global Magnitsky Act in April, asking the U.S. ambassador to Beijing, Terry Branstad, to visit the region and collect information on Xinjiang officials responsible for the mass detention policy.
The Global Magnitsky Act allows the U.S. government to place travel and financial restrictions on individuals anywhere in the world given credible proof of their role in human rights violations or corruption. For the first time in December, U.S. authorities designated 52 people under the act, including a Myanmar general allegedly involved in the deadly crackdown on Rohingya Muslims and a Chinese police official who oversaw the Beijing detention center that held Cao Shunli, a human rights activist who died in custody.
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Laura Stone said later in April that the U.S. was deeply concerned about the detentions and could take action under the Magnitsky act.
Along with Chen, other Chinese officials named in the letter include Hu, the Chinese delegate to the U.N. human rights meeting, who is an official with the Communist Party’s United Front Work Department; Xinjiang Deputy Party Secretary Shohret Zakir; and the head of Xinjiang’s Politics and Law Commission Zhu Hailun.
The letter also mentions two companies that could be sanctioned under a separate executive order, Hikvision and Dahua Technology, both of which make video surveillance technology used extensively throughout Xinjiang track residents and restrict their movements.
The letter was signed by a bipartisan group of senators and congressmen, including Ted Cruz and Sherrod Brown.
| Sun Sep 02 00:33:48|
a million locked up in a camp.
so first the earth was flat,
then global warmin is fake,
whats next the moon is green?
| Sun Sep 02 16:02:08|
"Former inmates—most of whom are Uighurs, a largely Muslim ethnic minority—have told reporters that over the course of an indoctrination process lasting several months, they were forced to renounce Islam, criticize their own Islamic beliefs and those of fellow inmates, and recite Communist Party propaganda songs for hours each day. There are media reports of inmates being forced to eat pork and drink alcohol..."
Finally! Now we need the Chinese locust to invade Central Asia, and Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
| Mon Sep 03 06:21:37|
Because mass internment of political prisoners is such an unprecedented event in Communist China?
| Mon Sep 03 10:26:18|
China is smart sometimes.
| Sat Oct 27 11:15:43|
Inside China's internment camps: tear gas, Tasers and textbooks
,AFP•October 24, 2018
On state television, the vocational education centre in China's far west looked like a modern school where happy students studied Mandarin, brushed up their job skills, and pursued hobbies such as sports and folk dance.
But earlier this year, one of the local government departments in charge of such facilities in Xinjiang's Hotan prefecture made several purchases that had little to do with education: 2,768 police batons, 550 electric cattle prods, 1,367 pairs of handcuffs, and 2,792 cans of pepper spray.
The shopping list was among over a thousand procurement requests made by local governments in the Xinjiang region since early 2017 related to the construction and management of a sprawling system of "vocational education and training centres".
The facilities have come under international scrutiny, with rights activists describing them as political re-education camps holding as many as one million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslim minorities.
Beijing had previously denied their existence. But a global outcry, including from the UN and the US, sparked a PR counter-offensive.
Government propaganda insisted the centres were aimed at countering the spread of separatism, terrorism and religious extremism through "free" education and job training.
However, an AFP examination of more than 1,500 publicly available government documents -- ranging from tenders and budgets to official work reports -- shows the centres are run more like jails than schools.
Thousands of guards equipped with tear gas, Tasers, stun guns and spiked clubs keep tight control over "students" in facilities ringed with razor wire and infrared cameras, according to the documents.
The centres should "teach like a school, be managed like the military, and be defended like a prison", said one document, quoting Xinjiang's party secretary Chen Quanguo.
To build new, better Chinese citizens, another document argued, the centres must first "break their lineage, break their roots, break their connections, and break their origins".
- 'Detain those who should be detained' –
The centre featured on state broadcaster CCTV last week is one of at least 181 such facilities in Xinjiang, according to data collected by AFP.
Participation is voluntary, according to CCTV, which showed contented "students" wearing matching uniforms, studying Mandarin and learning trades like knitting, weaving and baking.
The centres first appeared in 2014, the year that authorities launched a new "strike hard" campaign against "terrorism" after deadly violence in Xinjiang.
But the buildup began in earnest in early 2017, with local governments in predominantly Uighur southern Xinjiang ordered to speed up the construction of "concentrated educational transformation centres for focus groups" -- a euphemism that includes the religious, the poor, the uneducated, and virtually all men of military age.
Shortly after, Xinjiang's regional government issued regulations on managing "religious extremism".
Extremists could be hiding anywhere, officials warned, instructing cadres to be on the lookout for 25 illegal religious activities and 75 signs of extremism, including such seemingly innocuous activities as quitting smoking or buying a tent.
"Detain those who should be detained to the greatest extent possible", cadres were told.
Detentions surged, catching local governments unprepared.
In 2017, spending by justice bureaus throughout Xinjiang exploded, driven largely by huge outlays for building and running vocational centres.
The offices spent nearly three billion yuan ($432 million) -- at least 577 percent more than planned -- according to AFP's calculations.
Counties in the south closed the gap with a special fund earmarked for centres in the region.
At least some of that money came directly from the Communist Party's Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission -- the group in charge of the nation's legal authorities -- budget documents showed.
- 'Wolf's teeth' -
Around April 2017, local governments began posting a wide variety of tenders related to the facilities.
Some orders -- furniture, air conditioners, bunk beds, cutlery -- would not seem out of place at a typical Chinese university.
But others resembled prison equipment: sophisticated surveillance systems, cameras for recording students in their rooms, razor wire, a system for eavesdropping on phone calls, and infrared monitoring devices.
The centres also bought police uniforms, riot shields and helmets, pepper spray, tear gas, net guns, stun guns, electrified batons, billy clubs, spears, handcuffs and spiked clubs known as "wolf's teeth".
At least one centre requested "tiger chairs", a device used by Chinese police to restrain interrogation subjects.
The gear was necessary, party officials in the regional capital Urumqi argued in an emergency request for Tasers, to "guarantee staff members' personal safety".
Non-lethal weapons, it said, were important for "reducing the possibility of accidental injury in some situations where it is not necessary to use standard firearms".
Despite repeated attempts by AFP, local authorities could not be reached for comment before publication. On Wednesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying questioned the report's findings but offered no specific denial.
"I want to express my strong doubts on whether the situation you described is true," she told an AFP reporter at a regular press conference, adding that "I hope you can look at what Chinese officials have said and what the Chinese media has reported."
US Senator for Florida Marco Rubio -- who has called for sanctions on China over the mass internments -- tweeted AFP's report on Wednesday, expressing scepticism about China's explanation of the camps.
"China trying to convince the world that the Xinjiang internment camps are vocational training centers. But what kind of vocational training center buys 2,768 police batons, 550 electric cattle prods, 1,367 pairs of handcuffs & 2,792 cans of pepper spray?," he said.
- 'Self-criticisms' -
At the end of 2017, "higher authorities" issued directions to standardise the facilities' operations.
New "vocational education and training service management bureaus" were set up, headed by officials experienced in running prisons and detention centres, according to local government websites.
Students would be tested on their knowledge of Mandarin and propaganda on a weekly, monthly and "seasonal" basis, and write regular "self-criticisms", one bureau wrote in a memo.
They would spend their days "shouting slogans, singing red songs and memorising the Three Character Classic", it said, referring to an ancient Confucian text.
Their files lodged in a centralised database, students were sorted into categories based on their offences and levels of accomplishment.
Criminals who had completed a prison sentence were released directly into the centres, under the principle of "putting untrustworthy people in a trustworthy place".
Students who performed well would be allowed to call their families or even visit them in special rooms at the centres.
Officials were ordered to regularly visit students' families at home to give them "anti-extremism" lessons and check for signs of anger that could harden into opposition to the Communist Party.
The new bureaus also ensured "absolute security" against "troublemaking" in the centres, including preventing "escapes", one local management bureau wrote in a breakdown of its duties.
In addition to ex-prisoners and those charged with religious extremism, local governments were also ordered to ensure that at least one member of each household received vocational education for a minimum of one to three months -- a measure ostensibly aimed at alleviating poverty in the region of 24 million.
While China has rejected estimates that upwards of one million are held in the centres, tender documents hint at huge numbers.
In a one-month period in early 2018, Hotan county's vocational education bureau, which oversees at least one centre, ordered 194,000 Chinese language practice books.
And 11,310 pairs of shoes.
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