By Paul Goble
It is a measure of the continuing brutality of the Chinese government and of the tolerance of mistreatment of Muslims in the name of fighting terrorism around the world that an official Chinese source has admitted the existence of concentration camps for the re-education of Uyghur Muslims.
A communique by the Standing Committee of the Assembly of People’s Representatives of the Xinjiang-Uyghur Autonomous District contained this admission (xjpcsc.gov.cn/1009/t4028e49c665347630166588b8cf40001001.html in Chinese; summarized in Russian at lenta.ru/news/2018/10/10/camps/).
The document specifies that in order to block extremist activities on the territory of the region, the government has set up “special training centers.” Inmates are given ideological training and have their thoughts “put in order,” their behavior “corrected,” and their knowledge of Chinese expanded.
At the same time, the communique said that the centers will only use “a humane approach to re-education.”
During the summer, reports seeped out of the region about the existence of such camps, reports that sparked widespread expressions of horror (lenta.ru/news/2018/08/15/i_c_u/). One might have expected the Chinese to avoid confirming the stories, but apparently Beijing feels that the world is in such a state and its position so powerful that it can admit to these horrors.