China has put more than a million Uyghurs in concentration camps, where they are held without charge or any terms of release.
This has been going on for over a year now, since the arrival of new Communist Party boss of the region, Chen Quanguo, in 2016.
Uyghurs are Turkic people and the main inhabitant of the region, their ancestral homeland for millennia.
China entered the region known as East Turkistan in 1949 and declared the regionof “Xinjiang” on October 1, 1955.
During nearly six decades of annexation, China has pursued a policy of assimilation and changed the demographics of the region.
In 1950, the ethnic Han population accounted for only 5 percent of Xinjiang residents.
That jumped to over 40 percent in 2009, including an influx to the
Chinese paramilitary Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.
As of 2017, the Uyghur language has been banned from schools and a religious crack-down has morphed into a total ban of Islam.
They have demolished thousands of mosques (almost 70 percent) in Kashgar city and confiscated religious books, including the Quran.
Beijing played the terrorism card against the Uyghurs by hijacking the 9/11 tragedy and conflating civil disobedience as terrorism.
The Uyghur homeland has become China’s springboard to Central Asia and beyond,and an obstacle to Chinese global expansion.
Uyghurs are seen as a barrier to Xi’s ambition. China requires the absolute silence of Uyghurs on their historic land to advance its plan.
The current use of concentration camps as a tool of collective punishment of Uyghurs should be understood in this context.
Recent research has revealed that China is accelerating its drive to build more camps in the region to accommodate more Uyghurs.
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