China Slaps Back Sanctions On US Over Uighur Matter

China Slaps Back Sanctions On US Over Uighur Matter

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

Chinese Sanctions
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.

Detention Camps

  • 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.

Chinese Reaction
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.

Dystopian-Styled Detention Camps in China for Ethnic Minorities like Uighurs

Secret documents pertaining to the internal communication of the Chinese agencies that gave a horrifying picture of what could be a minorities’ detention camp in Xinjiang Province were released. Allegedly, minorities like Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other Muslims living around the region are put into these camps in the name of re-education and are brutally enforced to learn Chinese ideology.

Crux of the Matter
  • Nearly 1 million ethnic minority citizens are kept under hardcore surveillance and severe camping conditions in the Xinjiang Province of China. Surveillance systems helped in finding and transferring these people to detention for re-education merely because they seemed suspicious.
  • The Chinese government has denied the reports, calling them pure fabrication.
  • The severity of the camps is such that detainees are monitored even while they eat, use urinals, or take bath. They are not allowed to have any contact with the outside world except talking to their family members once a week under tight supervision.
  • According to the leaked documents, the camp has been perpetrating Chinese ideology through the means of the atonement of old dangerous ideology, strict routines, inhuman behaviours, et al.
  • The Xinjiang Re-education Camps, officially called Vocational Education and Training Centers by the government of the People’s Republic of China, are concentration camps that have been operated by the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Regional government for the purpose of interning Uyghur Muslims since 2014. The New York Times stated the leak suggests discontent inside the Communist Party relating to the crackdown in Xinjiang. The anonymous government official that leaked the documents did so with the intent that the disclosure “would prevent party leaders, including Mr. Xi, from escaping culpability for the mass detentions”. Read More