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China's Reeducational Drive in Xinjiang-Modern Day Genocide

The New Yorker April 12, 2021 pp30-51 |A Reporter At Large| “GHOST WALLS” “As the Chinese state cracks down in Xinjiang, a woman struggles to free herself” by Raffi Kahatchadourian.

Photo Source not from The New Yorker Posted on by user "gunslayerjj" with title "The beautiful Uighur culture that is about to be lost

Image Source After 20 months of incarceration and attempted reeducation Anar Sabit returns to Kuytun from Xinjiang "The Untamed Frontier" and shares her experience in a The New Yorker article.

Read this gripping article or listen to the audio at


Not from The New Yorker article

Kuytun or Kuitun, according to, “is a county-level city with about 285,000 residents in the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang, China. Kuitun is located between Wusu and Shihezi on the railway from Urumqi to Kazakhstan, close to a desert.

Xinjiang, according to, is “an autonomous territory in northwest China, is a vast region of deserts and mountains." It’s home to many ethnic minority groups, including Turkic Uyghur people. The ancient Silk Road trade route linking China and the Middle East passed through Xinjiang, a legacy that can be seen in the traditional open-air bazaars of its oasis cities, Hotan and Kashgar.

Summary of the article

This is the story of a type of genocide being inflicted on residents in the “New Frontier, or Xinjiang; an untamed borderland” and a young woman’s, Anar Sabit's, escape from the stranglehold of 20 months of incarceration by the Chinese Communist Party. Although Anar Sabit was forced to sign “a pile of papers, including an agreement that she would never publicly discuss her time in camp” she has “set aside her fear." “’I was thinking, You have done this. I should talk about what happened to me.” “She found that it helped her overcome her trauma. Seeing a therapist helped too. But she still feels severed from the confident and purposeful women she once was.”

In China today, the leadership apparently has an oversized obsession with controlling territories that historically were dominated by ethnic minority populations including “Uyghurs, Kazakhs and, other indigenous Turkic peoples.” Going back decades Chinese leadership under an organization known as “Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps” developed large farms and ushered in “millions of Han Chinese migrants” to work the farms as a step towards increasing Chinese influence. It is an all-out effort to have absolute allegiance to China using many methods including marriages and procreation between Han Chinese migrants and the indigenous population. What's happening now to the indigenous largely Muslim population is really Orwellian. “Chinese authorities” though view it through the lens of “stability maintenance.” A campaign aimed at eliminating what the Chinese leadership views as the “three evil forces” consisting of “separatism, terrorism, and extremism" by the native population.

What actions have been and are being enforced?

Large troop presence

Restricted movement using checkpoints

Biometric Identity Cards issued after collecting blood types, finger prints, iris scans, voice scans, DNA, and facial data from the indigenous inhabitants. All officially under the “guise of medical care.”

Video and other surveillance dubbed “Sharp Eyes” is being used and is enabled in part by by advances in high-speed computing and artificial intelligence. QR codes are placed on homes, linking data on each resident, GPS tracking is required on vehicles and cell phones are registered.

Police/Troops have an APP called IJOP (Integrated Joint Operations Platform). IJOP provides instant access to personal biometric and other data. According to “Human Rights Watch” one is classified into one of 36 “person types” including “people who do not use a mobile phone, who use the back door instead of the front, who consumed an ‘unusual’ amounts of electricity…who have an ‘unusual beard’…who socialize too little’ or who maintain relationships that are deemed ‘complex’”. If you are suspect or “untrustworthy” then your “family was also likely infected.” Once tagged alarms are triggered as you move through checkpoints around the area and beyond. Planning on relocating? Contact the government first.

Banning books and websites

Demolishing historic and religious (Muslim) buildings

“Armband Patrols upend[ing] homes” searching for religious materials or religious dress etc.

Mandatory military visits of homes to get “close to the masses, emotionally.” “Cadres impose themselves, stopping by for meals; sometimes they were required to stay overnight.”

Divide and conquer. The population was divided into three categories-“trusted, average, untrustworthy.” Troops were “to detain anyone who could not be proved sufficiently loyal.”

Imprisonment. Satellite data have confirmed the growing size of camps with “as many a million people…”

Reeducation camps that focus on allegiance to China and on becoming fluent in Mandarin. Star pupils are paraded in front of visiting dignitaries.

Why are the actions in Xinjiang considered genocide? Are people being killed?

According to Raphael Lemkin (1990-1944) “Genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings…It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aimed at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national group.”

What’s being done?

The United States has declared that “China is committing genocide” and last year “imposed sanctions” on Xinjiang. “The European Union, the U.K., and Canada took similar measures a few weeks ago.”

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