While Trump faces off against Xi, others must act to prevent genocide in Xinjiang and a new cold war
Leaders in China and the US seem nostalgic for the worst aspects of the 20th century. Following recent revelations about forced labour, family separation and the repression of Uighur births, there should be no doubt that the policies inflicted by the Chinese Communist party (CCP) on the indigenous central Asians it rules meet the UN definition of genocide. While the Trump administration has belatedly begun imposing sanctions over these atrocities, its overall China policy is driven by self-serving, not humanitarian, motivations. It is clear that after first appeasing Xi Jinping, Trump now hopes a new cold war will cover up his own bungled response to Covid-19. How, then, should other countries respond to the Xinjiang crisis amid dangerous Trumpian provocations? It helps to understand what’s been happening in Xinjiang on its own, outside the context of superpower sabre-rattling.
What the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has been doing in Xinjiang has little to do with counter-terrorism. It is the culmination of a decade-long campaign to develop the north-western territory of Xinjiang by making its landscape and peoples seem more “Chinese”. The PRC has reversed what were once relatively pluralistic diversity policies in favour of assimilationism, aimed at engineering a homogeneous “Zhonghua” people: a nationalistic, unitary Chinese identity envisioned in general secretary Xi Jinping’s “China Dream”.
Read more: theguardian.com