In the East, different societies during the last 5 thousand years of history maintained a strong belief in the Divine nature of the Universe and the conviction that God created man and will return to earth to take him back to heaven before the end of the world.
Particularly in China, spirituality and faith were always rooted in the people’s hearts thanks to their traditional culture passed down from generation to generation for millennia. However, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), obsessed with imposing atheism, has only succeeded by force, breaking with the ideas and beliefs of citizens using threats, terror, and indoctrination to achieve its goals.
The Communist Manifesto, one of the fundamental books of the CCP, promotes the destruction of the family, the church, and the nation-state. Therefore, eliminating and subverting religions is one of the main objectives of communism, as stated in its most fundamental ideology.
Communist China has used and continues to use the violence of the giant state apparatus to denigrate religions and oppress moral beliefs to force people to separate themselves from the Divine.
China historically was the cradle of diverse religions. In fact, there are not so many territories in the world that include such a diverse development of beliefs. Buddhism, Islam, Catholicism, and Protestantism are widespread in China. In addition, there is Taoism, which is specific to China, shamanism, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Dongba religion.
Faith in China is not characterized by a predominant religion, as in other countries. The Chinese people have a strong belief in various gods and Buddhas, and religious views are the foundation of traditional Chinese culture. Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, and even Western religions have coexisted peacefully in China for thousands of years.
Among the victims of the CCP’s ongoing spiritual massacre in its territory are the Uighurs, a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority located in the Xinjiang region of northwest China.
Human rights groups claim that the Chinese regime holds more than one million Uighurs against their will in an extensive network of what the state calls “re-education camps,” where they are reportedly tortured, enslaved, and killed.
Who are the Uighurs?
The Uighurs are an ethnic group of 12 million people, mostly Muslims, located in Xinjiang, one of China’s five “autonomous provinces.” Although, like Tibet, the so-called autonomy has been entirely eradicated by the CCP.
The Uighurs speak their own language, similar to Turkish, and consider themselves culturally and ethnically close to the Central Asian nations. However, after the CCP pushed millions of Chinese to migrate to the region, it made the Uighurs a minority in their land, where they now constitute less than half the population, as reported by the BBC.
There is also a considerable Uighur presence in Central Asian countries bordering the region, especially Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. Following fierce persecution by the CCP, the Uighurs have also developed significant exile colonies in the United States, Germany, and Turkey.
With a documented history of at least 2500 years, a succession of kings and empires have contested control of all or part of this region. Since the 18th century, Xinjiang has been annexed to the territory now known as the People’s Republic of China.
Xinjiang was granted autonomous region status on Oct. 1, 1955. However, in recent decades, according to the Chinese regime, the East Turkestan independence movement, separatist conflict, and the influence of radical Islam has caused some unrest in the region, with occasional clashes between separatists and CCP forces.
That is the argument the CCP uses to justify its intervention in the territory and carry out fierce repression. It began during the 1990s and increased in force during the last 15 years, being labeled by several countries as genocide.
Re-education, Torture and Death Camps
Numerous human rights groups and many national governments are lodging complaints against the Chinese Communist regime regarding serious indications that more than one million Uighurs are being detained only for practicing their faith in the Xinjiang area. In addition to being beaten and tortured, they are forced to work in “re-education centers,” and thousands of women suffer forced sterilization.
The allegations are based on the testimonies of Uighurs who were released or escaped overseas and recounted their ordeal.
Xinjiang is now covered by a pervasive surveillance network, including a significant police presence, checkpoints, and cameras that scan everything from license plates to individual faces.
According to Human Rights Watch, the Chinese military’s intelligence system uses a mobile app to monitor people’s behavior, with information reported ranging from how much electricity they are using to how often they use their front door.
Facial recognition cameras, body scanners, mandatory apps, GPS tracking, and surveillance drones cover every inch of the region. Chinese tech companies like Huawei use these regime contracts to develop even more invasive systems.
Over the past few years, the CCP has implemented a series of actions to entrench nationalist sentiments in China. According to activists and whistleblowers, the eradication of Uighur culture is part of these controversial measures.
The so-called “re-education camps” had multiplied exponentially during the last few years in the region. The new secretary of the CCP in Xinjiang, Chen Quanguo—known for his brutal security and surveillance policies when he served in Tibet—took office.
There are countless testimonies recounting the hardships endured in these re-education camps. For example, Rozenn Morgat, a Uighur engineer, went into exile in France with her family in 2006. Ten years later, she decided to go to Xinjiang for a few weeks to visit her family and carry out some administrative procedures. Still, she never imagined that her life would become hell within days.
A few days after arriving in China, she was arrested and taken to a police station in Kunlun, where she was violently interrogated and shown a photograph of her daughter in front of the Eiffel Tower participating in a demonstration against the CCP’s repression of the Uighur people. That was enough to label her and her family as “terrorists. That was the beginning of her nightmare.
After a time in a police station where she was beaten, tortured, and malnourished, she was transferred to one of these re-education centers. She experienced firsthand the atrocities carried out there.
In an enclosure full of women, the guards forced them to participate in military-style training that lasted up to 11 hours a day, and those who fainted or refused to do so were usually killed.
Hygiene conditions were abysmal. They only had a bucket to relieve themselves and were not even offered paper or a towel to sanitize themselves.
Physical training alternated with “China education” days, a tedious brainwashing process in which the inmates were forced to worship the CCP its leaders and “behave like real Chinese.”
And so the days, months, and years went by, without knowing where she was or being able to communicate with her family. She was forced to parrot the nonsense phrases in favor of the Party and against her spiritual belief. They also had constant evaluations of the knowledge imposed in the indoctrination classes, which had painful penalties if not passed.
After a while, anyone becomes a kind of zombie, completely stripped of their identity, culture, and belief. The objective is clear and effective, to introduce the “dissidents” of the Party to a process of sinicization. The regime seeks to incorporate the “rebel” into the mass of people who accept communism without reflecting on its perversity or questioning their oppressors.
A few, like Rozenn Morgat, manage to survive and then escape to tell the story of the hell that is lived there and gradually raise awareness in the world. Morgat was finally released on Aug. 2, 2019, and became a renowned human rights activist writing books and articles denouncing the CCP’s persecution of the Uighur people.
Thanks to the courageous work of survivors and investigative journalists, the world is learning about the concentration camp centers in China that operate outside the legal system oppressing traditional cultures, religions, and religious beliefs.
Forced sterilization of women
As expected, the CCP does not recognize its persecution of the Uighur people. Instead, when speaking of the matter, it argues that it is a radicalized sector of the population that poses a danger to the rest of society without giving any further explanation.
However, growing evidence confirms the existence of an intention on the part of the CCP to eliminate not only some alleged “terrorists” but to completely eradicate the Uighur culture, along with their religious beliefs, customs, and tradition. This intention is evident as the CCP seeks to stop their reproduction as much as possible through a perverse process of forced sterilization of women.
In June 2020, the East Turkestan Government in Exile (ETGE) and the East Turkestan National Awakening Movement (ETNAM) submitted compelling evidence to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to initiate an investigation into genocide and specifically the forced sterilization of Uighur women.
The report alleges that the CCP uses forced sterilization, forced abortion, and coercive pregnancy planning against Uighurs and other minorities in the Xinjiang region.
German anthropologist, Adrian Zenz, is spearheading investigations and complaints against the Chinese regime on behalf of the Uighur minority. In his latest report, he detailed that there have been practices of the Chinese regime for decades to slowly eradicate the Uighur and Turkic population in the East Turkestan area. However, since 2016 the methods of forced sterilization would have increased considerably.
In parallel, more than 500,000 Uyghur and other Turkic children were forcibly separated from their families to be indoctrinated in state-run orphanages and boarding schools to become “loyal Chinese citizens,” the report charges.
The details of the report suggest that fact trumps fiction. It includes torture by electrocution, sexual abuse, being forced to eat pork and drink alcohol (acts of extreme humiliation for Muslims), followed by many atrocities.
Tursenay Ziawudun, a female survivor of one of the re-education camps that the Chinese communist regime has in Xinjiang, managed to escape. Now, from the United States, she tells of her sufferings, seeking the support and intervention of the international community.
In a powerful interview she gave to Fox News, Ziawudun recounted what she suffered at the hands of the CCP during her months in prison. In addition to enduring communist indoctrination and being forced to repudiate her religion, Islam, she endured nine months of gang rape, violent beatings, and torture with electric prods.
“Any woman under the age of 40 was raped,” Ziawudun said. “Everyone in the camp experienced this. And, of course, so did I. I was also beaten and kicked. Once they kicked me so hard in my private parts until they made me bleed, and then they had to remove my ovaries.”
Several countries, including Canada, the Netherlands, and Great Britain, have followed the lead of former U.S. President Donald Trump and accused the Communist regime of China of committing genocide against the Uighur population, defined by international convention as the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.”
On Jan. 19, 2021, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, through an official White House statement, denounced that, at least since March 2017, the People’s Republic of China, under the leadership and control of the CCP, has committed genocide against the predominantly Muslim Uighurs.
According to the former Trump official, crimes such as the arbitrary imprisonment of more than one million Uighur civilians, forced sterilization, torture of large numbers of detainees, forced labor, and the imposition of draconian restrictions on freedom of religion or belief, freedom of speech, and freedom of movement, continue to be in effect under Communist China and should be considered “crimes against humanity and genocide.”
The communiqué indicates that the United States urges the “The PRC immediately to release all arbitrarily detained persons and abolish its system of internment, detention camps, house arrest and forced labor;” and also urges the Chinese authorities to “cease coercive population control measures, including forced sterilizations, forced abortion, forced birth control, and the removal of children from their families.”
The European parliamentarians also called out the Chinese communist regime on these issues and urged the CCP to close its “re-education camps” for Uighurs in Xinjian. They also called on the Chinese authorities to give independent journalists and international observers unrestricted access to Xinjiang province to examine the reported situation.
The MEPs also expressed concern about Chinese authorities harassing Uighurs abroad by pressuring them to denounce other Uighurs and return to Xinjiang or remain silent about the situation there, including threatening to arrest their relatives.
As concrete actions to combat this situation, MEPs proposed adopting targeted sanctions and freezing assets of Chinese officials responsible for the persecution.
Following the MEPs’ report, in March 2021, the European Union published for the first time sanctions against four Chinese CCP officials responsible for the persecution in Xinjiang.
Forced labor with the collaboration of foreign brands
The Xinjiang region has received significant investments to carry out industrial and energy projects that Beijing presents as progress, even though residents have claimed to be harmed by these works that invaded territories historically used for agriculture.
At the same time, numerous investigations have revealed that many of the controversial re-education centers set up by the CCP also double as forced production labor camps for these firms, many of which are world-renowned.
A report published by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), which cited government documents and local media reports, identified a network of factories where thousands of Uighurs work in slave-like conditions.
“Under conditions that strongly suggest forced labor, Uighurs are working in factories in the supply chains of at least 83 well-known global brands in the technology, clothing, and automotive sectors. They include Apple, BMW, Gap, Huawei, Nike, Samsung, Sony, and Volkswagen,” the think-tank said.
In addition, the report highlights the network of factories extends to other provinces of the country where at least 80,000 Uighurs have been relocated against their will as part of a state program.
According to ASPI, this mechanism of transferring workers is “a new phase of the Chinese regime’s ongoing repression” against the Uighurs.
Workers “lead a harsh and segregated life,” are forbidden to practice religion, and are forced to participate in social indoctrination classes.
The 83 global brands mentioned in the ASPI report work directly with the network of factories mentioned or buy materials from companies that produce in these factories, the investigation claims, citing public lists of suppliers and the factories’ information.
This report put further pressure on the major brands to improve quality certification in their supply chain, including an analysis of the working conditions faced by workers producing for their suppliers.
The investigation findings reflect that the dispossession and mistreatment of Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang also has a very strong character of economic exploitation, in which the CCP is mainly responsible. However, with the collaboration of major multinational firms that turn a deaf ear to human rights claims about the persecution of the Uighur people, who make up the primary labor force in the region.
Sanctions and action by the international community to combat persecution in Xinjiang
As evidence of the brutal persecution of the Uighur people in China gains global recognition, governments and private companies are taking more and more actions to combat the situation.
Former President Trump was one of the first to implement measures forcing importers and international firms to review their supply chains to prevent the marketing of products manufactured, in whole or in part, in clandestine sweatshops.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported among the most robust measures is blocking all imports of cotton and tomato products produced in Xinjiang on suspicion of involvement in forced labor. The U.S. has long-standing U.S. laws to combat human trafficking, child labor, and other human rights abuses.
On Jan. 12, 2021, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also announced that the government would severely penalize UK companies whose production chain links to forced Uighur labor.
“The evidence of the scale and severity of the human rights violations that have been perpetrated in Xinjiang against Uighur Muslims is now far-reaching,” Raab said.
Recently, the 35 lawmakers from countries including the United States, United Kingdom, India, and others that make up the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance (IPAC) requested their respective countries to impose sanctions against individuals and companies that finance Uighur labor enslaved by the Chinese communist regime.
According to IPAC’s request, those companies complicit in human rights violations in Xinjiang should be “blacklisted” and banned from doing business in IPAC member countries.
The CCP, since its birth, has demonstrated its determination to stamp out all kinds of beliefs, ideologies, cultures, and traditions that posit the existence of God.
While the efforts of certain politicians, officials, and private organizations around the world have served to publicize the regime’s atrocities against the Uighur people, nothing so far indicates that the CCP has stopped its campaign of persecution and destruction against its people, culture, and beliefs.
Unfortunately, much of the international community often benefit from this kind of oppression or prefers not to confront the CCP to avoid conflicts affecting their interest. It seems that if no joint action with true collective power is developed to stop the outrages of the communist regime, any particular initiative will be, at least, insufficient.