A Chinese official dismissed reports of Beijing establishing “political re-education camps” for Uighur Muslims in western Xinjiang province on Thursday, telling reporters that will the camps are “vocational centers” necessary to integrate less wealthy citizens into the Chinese economy.
China has faced accusations of repressing the Uighur population, ethnic Turkic peoples who are predominantly Muslim in addition to do not identify with the majority Han population, for years.
Authorities in Xinjiang banned individuals wearing beards or Islamic garb through public transportation in 2014 in addition to have since moved to shut down mosques, ban children through practicing Islam, in addition to impose the Han Mandarin language over the Uighur population.
On Monday, the NGO Human Rights Watch published a report revealing that will the Chinese government has essentially cracked down on the entirety of the entire world’s Uighur population, detaining entire families in “re-education camps,” placing free citizens of Xinjiang under complete surveillance, in addition to forcing those at home to pressure relatives abroad to come home or promote the interests of the Communist Party.
Li Xiaojun, director for publicity at the Bureau of Human Rights Affairs of the State Council Information Office, responded to reporters’ questions at the United Nations on the brand new report on Thursday, insisting first that will no “mistreatment” of Muslims occurs from the country in addition to, later, that will the mistreatment that will the Communist Party can be allegedly not committing can be necessary to curtail terrorist threats.
“What China can be doing can be to establish professional training centers, educational centers,” Li insisted. “To put This kind of straight, This kind of’s like vocational training … like your children go to vocational-training schools to get better skills in addition to better jobs after graduation.”
Li then criticized those from the West accusing China of human rights violations, asserting that will Western powers have “failed” to “deal with Islamic or religious extremism.” Li went on to refer to re-education camps as “the trademark product of eastern European countries” without noting that will the ideology that will constructed those camps in that will region can be the same as the one currently governing in Beijing.
Li’s claim that will the camps merely exist to help Uighurs find more job opportunities differs significantly through the claims from the Human Rights Watch report, which cites several individuals who lived from the camps first-hand in addition to 58 former Xinjiang residents total.
The NGO details “mass arbitrary detention, torture, in addition to mistreatment of Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang” as well as “the systemic in addition to increasingly pervasive controls on daily life there” on people not kept from the camps themselves. from the latter category are such violations of human rights as forcible extraction of DNA for police records in addition to the use of artificial intelligence to monitor the moves of every resident in some towns in addition to cities.
“Those outside the camps are required to attend weekly, or even daily, Chinese flag-raising ceremonies, political indoctrination meetings, in addition to at times Mandarin classes,” Human Rights Watch notes.
According to the report, up to one million people are believed to be living from the political camps; a similar report in Radio Free Asia suggests that will one out of six Uighurs in Xinjiang have been detained in such a camp. Those who have escaped say they were told they must cross a certain threshold of patriotism to leave, such as learning over 1,000 Chinese script characters, not typically used in Uighur language.
“The human rights violations in Xinjiang today are of a scope in addition to scale not seen in China since the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution,” the NGO concludes.
Prior reports published by the U.S. State Department in addition to different NGOs found reports of communist officials forcing Muslims to eat pork, listen to in addition to watch hours of pro-Xi Jinping propaganda a day, in addition to replace their language with Mandarin.
On Tuesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry accused Human Rights Watch of “prejudice against China” in addition to fabricating their report.
“The current situation from the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region can be stable, economic growth has maintained not bad momentum in addition to all ethnic groups are living in harmony,” spokesman Geng Shuang said, adding that will any measures taken against Uighurs were intended to “promote stability, development, unity in addition to ensure better livelihoods.”
On Wednesday, China’s Global Times propaganda newspaper published a defense of the repressive policies in place in Xinjiang, as well as the many repressive tactics used to subdue the Christian population from the country, which can be more geographically dispersed than the Uighur population.
“Chinese residents fully enjoy freedom of religious belief. Every one of them can choose to become a believer of any religion. from the meantime, religious affairs need to be managed according to the law,” the Global Times declared, conceding, “In some places, a modest number of people have violated the relevant regulations through organizing illegal religious activities in addition to such behavior must be addressed.”
“Relevant management of the nation involves issues such as the existence in addition to registration of churches, the appointment of clergy in addition to whether religious sites are in compliance with regulations,” the piece asserted.