Experts accuse Chinese leaders of 'poor explanation, ruthless implementation' of Xinjiang policies
Amid international condemnation over China's hostile treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, academics have said that Chinese leaders share blame for the war of words with the West over the issue and that the policies have been poorly explained and ruthlessly implemented.
Amid international condemnation over China's hostile treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, academics have said that Chinese leaders share blame for the war of words with the West over the issue and that the policies have been poorly explained and ruthlessly implemented. After the appointment of Chen Quanguo as chief of the Chinese Communist Party (CC) in 2016, the security apparatus in the region underwent a massive expansion, with the construction of a network of detention facilities, strict surveillance and an enhanced political indoctrination drive, writes Amber Wang for the South China Morning Post (SCMP).
"The execution of some of our policies at the local level has gone overboard, like the policing [by local cadres] which may have gone too far in ensuring social stability," said Li Sheng, former director of the Research Centre for Chinese Borderland History and Geography at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a think tank in Beijing. "The biggest problem was the lack of transparency, and simplicity and crudeness [in implementing the policies]," said Yin, who has been studying Xinjiang issues for nearly 20 years.
Though Beijing has projected an image of stability and unity by imposing a news blackout, experts said that the high-handed control and secrecy also bred misunderstanding and gave room for malicious attacks, most notably as independent researchers were denied opportunities to understand the real picture on the ground. Amid rising pressure on China over the Xinjiang issue, Beijing has ramped up its efforts to justify its policies against Uyghur Muslims.
Beijing has also organised media tours of Xinjiang to counter the allegations but reporters, who have travelled to the region independently to investigate the allegations, have reported being blocked by the authorities and followed by police, according to the SCMP. This year the United States, Canada, Britain and the EU all imposed coordinated sanctions on those accused of human rights abuses in the region.
This prompted retaliatory measures from Beijing - and the growing international backlash has seen almost all products made in Xinjiang, including textiles, solar panels and even movies, coming under the spotlight. Early this year, the United States became the first country in the world to declare the Chinese actions in Xinjiang as "genocide".
In February, both the Canadian and Dutch parliaments adopted motions recognising the Uyghur crisis as genocide. The latter became the first parliament in Europe to do so. In April, the United Kingdom declared China's ongoing crackdown in Xinjiang a "genocide".
Beijing has vehemently denied that it is engaged in human rights abuses against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang while reports from journalists, NGOs and former detainees have surfaced, highlighting the CCP's brutal crackdown on the ethnic community.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)