State Department: Xi Jinping’s ‘Repression’ of Uighur Muslims in China ‘Worsened’ in 2017

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

“Repression” of China’s Uighur Muslim minority under Xi Jinping’s atheist regime “worsened” last year, the U.S. State Department revealed in a report published this week.

Members of the religious minority group are experiencing “systemic torture,” disappearances, executions, and arbitrary detentions as part of Beijing’s “re-education campaign” ostensibly to combat alleged extremism and separatism.

In its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017 released Friday, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) declares that President Xi’s crackdown on Uighurs (or Uyghurs) and other Muslim minorities over alleged extremism and separatism behavior “intensified” last year.

“Discrimination against minorities remained widespread,” DOS reports, noting: 

Officials in the XUAR [Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region] intensified efforts to crack down on the government-designated “three evil forces” of religious extremism, ethnic separatism, and violent terrorism, including a concentrated re-education campaign to combat what it deemed to be separatism.

The broad definition of extremism resulted in the disappearance, jailing, or forced attendance at re-education classes of tens of thousands of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities, according to international media.

Radio Free Asia (RFA) reports that China is likely holding “as many as one million Uyghurs” at re-education camps, also known as mind-transformation centers, “without due process for ill-defined reasons, under Beijing’s brutal campaign against what it calls religious extremism and separatism.” 

DOS’s assessment of Beijing’s human rights violation failed to explicitly acknowledge Xi’s persecution of Christians who are reportedly also being sent to “mind transformation centers.”

The human rights report does point out: 

Xi Jinping directed the Communist state to “sinicize” [make more Chinese] the country’s ethnic and religious minorities: ethnically based restrictions on movement curtailed the ability of ethnic Uighurs to travel freely or obtain travel documents; authorities in Xinjiang increased surveillance and the presence of armed police; and new legislation restricted cultural and religious practices.

Although Xinjiang is a Muslim-majority region, some Uighurs in Xinjiang have reportedly converted to Christianity. 

In Xinjiang, the Xi regime has prohibited “abnormal” beards, “unsanctioned” religious publications, the wearing of religious attires such as hijabs and burkas in public places, the use of some Islamic names for children, and the teaching of religion to children, among other behaviors, State reports.

China also punishes Uighurs (or Uyghurs) over a “refusal to watch state television,” the assessment of China’s human right violations adds. 

The report comes as the Trump administration and some American lawmakers are considering using a U.S. law targeting human rights abusers to impose sanctions on Chinese officials involved in the oppression of Uighur Muslims in their homeland of Xinjiang, China’s largest province. 

DOS notes:

Official repression of the freedoms of speech, religion, movement, association, and assembly of Tibetans in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and other Tibetan areas and of Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) worsened and were more severe than in other areas of the country.

Uighurs and members of other ethnic minorities disappeared in the XUAR[.] … Members of the minority Uighur ethnic group reported systematic torture and other degrading treatment by law enforcement officers and the penal system.

Citing the Dui Hua Foundation, DOS highlighted an increase in Uighur executions in recent years.

Although the State report failed to highlight the plight of the Christian minority in China, Kristina Arriaga, the vice chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), indicated to Breitbart News recently that China’s oppressive tactics employed against Christians have intensified in recent years.

“A lot of things have happened in the last few months that are very troubling for the future of Christianity in China,” Arriaga told Breitbart News during an event sponsored by the Heritage Foundation this month.

“The situation for Christians there is dire. … One thing we know for sure is that the persecution [against] Christians has doubled in intensity,” she added.

Nevertheless, DOS human rights report does not mention Christians. 

Communist President Xi “has particular animosity against Christianity,” Bob Fu, the founder and president of the U.S.-based Christian human rights group China Aid, told Breitbart News during the Heritage Foundation event. 


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