China imposed sanctions on several US officials in retaliation to the sanctions levied on it for the treatment of Uighur Muslims, which have a complex relationship with the Communist regime of China.
Crux of the Matter
After the US imposed sanctions on Chinese officials for their persecution of Uighurs and other minorities of their country, China hit back with sanctions over its “interference” in national issues.
Till now, the sanctions have been levied on:
- Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, US Senators.
- Sam Brownback, US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom.
- Chris Smith, US Representative.
Exact details of the sanctions have been undisclosed so far.
Who Are The Uighurs?
Uighurs are Turkish-speaking Muslims having their roots in Central Asia. More than 12 million of them reside in the Xinjiang region of China. Over 1 million of the Uighurs have been detained in “re-education” camps since 2015.
Re-education Camps And Hyper Surveillance
In 2014, more than 100 casualties were observed in the Kunming attacks by extremist separatists. After the attacks, President Xi Jinping initiated mass detention camps, which are labeled as “voluntary skill-training” camps in the country. The aim of such camps is to reduce religious extremism.
- Detainees are trained in Chinese ideology and are forced to condemn and renounce their own religion.
- The camps force detainees to speak only in Mandarin and abandon the use of their Turkish Uyghur language.
- The guards use physical and mental torture in case of any violation of the rules. Several cases of extreme abuse of human rights have been reported.
- The Chinese government has imposed hyper-surveillance on Uighurs and other minorities.
- Surveillance cameras have been installed near their homes, and the citizens are put in detention camps for growing beards, wearing veils, accessing websites in languages other than Mandarin, offering prayers, visiting mosques, etc.
- Several of the detainees have been reportedly forced into labour for companies like Nike, Adidas, Apple, etc.
The Chinese government has repeatedly denied the existence of detention camps and claims that only “education and skills” training camps function in the country, where people take admission voluntarily. It has labeled the reports of re-education camps as “slandering” of China by the Western nations.
In total disregard of the facts, some people in the West have been fiercely slandering and smearing China over Xinjiang in an attempt to create an excuse to interfere in China’s internal affairs.Liu Xiaoming, Ambassador of China to the United Kingdom
- The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), is an autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China, located in the northwest of the country. Being the largest province-level division of China and among the 10 largest country subdivisions in the world.
- A late-19th-century encyclopedia entitled The cyclopædia of India and of Eastern and Southern Asia said “the Uigur are the most ancient of Turkish tribes and formerly inhabited a part of Chinese Tartary (Xinjiang), now occupied by a mixed population of Turk, Mongol and Kalmuck”.
- Sanam is a popular folk dance among the Uyghur people. It is commonly danced by people at weddings, festive occasions, and parties. The dance may be performed with singing and musical accompaniment.
- Hindustan Times – China trades sanctions with US over Uighur Muslims
- Reuters – U.N. says it has credible reports that China holds million Uighurs in secret camps
- Forbes – Study Links Nike, Adidas And Apple To Forced Uighur Labor
- Al Jazeera – Separatists accused of China stabbing spree
- The Guardian – China detains Uighurs for growing beards or visiting foreign websites, leak reveals
- Business Insider – ‘Permanent cure’: Inside the re-education camps China is using to brainwash Muslims