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Secondary V • 2yr.

Can you explain to me what is happening with the uyghurs in China (concentration camps) why China is doing this, since when, where and how.

Contemporary World

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Explanations (1)

  • Explanation from Alloprof

    Explanation from Alloprof

    This Explanation was submitted by a member of the Alloprof team.

    Team Alloprof • 2yr.

    Good morning Yakefficace! :)

    Uyghurs are Sunni Muslims. Although they are in the minority in China, they are in the majority in the autonomous province of Xinjiang in the northwest of the country. This province wishes to become independent from China, but the Uighur population has been facing a policy of sinization by the Chinese government for several years. A policy of sinization, according to Géo confluences, is “a policy of acculturation aimed at forcing the different ethnic groups living within the borders of China to be incorporated into the dominant ethnic group, the Hans. To sinize means to make Chinese (on the same model as to Frenchize, Americanize, etc.). This policy goes through school, through the Party, through work, but also, in so-called autonomous provinces such as Tibet or Xinjiang, through the forced schooling of children far from their parents and through a ruthless repression of any cultural distinction, especially ".

    -religious, which includes for example the destruction of cemeteries. This policy of sinicization means that today the Hans are almost as numerous as the Uyghurs in the province of Xinjiang. Several even speak of the cultural genocide of the Uyghurs.

    The first Uyghur concentration camps would have been built from 2014 in order to fight against the separatism of Xinjiang. Millions of Uyghurs are said to be locked up in these "political re-education camps" and the government justifies this measure by attributing various bloody attackers to the Uyghurs.

    Although the Chinese government defends itself by qualifying these camps as educational camps to make Uyghurs "good Chinese citizens", a 2018 report from the NGO Amnesty International argued that these camps were places of punishment and torture. where Uyghurs were beaten, deprived of food and held in solitary confinement.

    To answer your question more precisely ...

    • Why: China has set up these "education camps" in order to counter the separatist will of the autonomous province of Xinjiang where the Uyghurs mainly live and to sinise them. In the eyes of the Chinese government, these are re-education camps, where the "prisoners" are seen more as students, while in the eyes of Westerners, democracies and human rights organizations, they are rather concentration camps. Moreover, dissident Uyghurs are being arrested and forcibly taken to these camps. They stay there for several years and their “re-education” is based on a point system in order to assess their ideological transformation, their respect for discipline and their eagerness to “study”. The more they are sinized, the more points they obtain and can obtain a "diploma" allowing them to leave these camps.
    • Since when: Some arrests of Uyghurs for dissent are more than 15 years old, but the camps were officially built as early as 2014.
    • Where: Mainly in the autonomous province of Xinjiang, in northwest China.

    I invite you to do a search on the Internet with keywords like "why are there Uyghur camps in China" to find more information.

    You could also watch some documentaries on these camps, like the one by Arte:

    Let us know if you have any other questions! :)


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