Why I don't think there are "Xinjiang atrocities"?

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shlaifu
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29 Mar 2022, 6:41 pm

SkinnedWolf wrote:
magz wrote:
What I understand about the story - correct me if I'm wrong:

1. Western and Chinese definitions of "terrorism" differ but some Uyghur groups fit both of these definitions (random mass attacks);
2. The Chinese government adresses it in ways within their own understanding of being civil;
3. Horrible situation in some facilities mirror general low standard of life in poorer parts of China;
4. Similarily, some policies Westerners find unthinkable - information control, state control on reproduction, ban on gatherings - apply to all the Chinese citizens;
5. There are ethnic tensions within China and, similarily to e.g. USA, they are delicate matter, largely taboo, with a lot of affirmative actions being made by governments to counter bias within the society;
6. Chinese secrecy and censorship may be more a cultural problem of unwilling to publicly admit and discuss problems, not necessarily a sign of ill will.

Is it correct?

Correct
Very precise summary.


so... genocide with Chinese characteristics?
That's one way to read this post: "you cannot judge by anything but Chinese standards." There's an argument to be made for that, but human rights are supposed to be absolute, and human rights violations are meant to be absolute.
The West commits its own share of human rights violations, to be clear.

I was quite impressed by the incredibly straight forward approach by the CCP, by the residential properties being cleared to make way for highways. I've been to third world countries and spent most time in traffic jams. Not so in China. I have used chinese public transport, and overall I was quite impressed by both how relatively well things are working, considering every bit of infrastructure has to carry 20 million people in every major city.
I understand that the human rights view is a western view with its own historical contingency. and still... I don't think a benevolent dictator is anything less of a dictator, and a human rights violation is anything less of a human rights violation if committed during a "developmental stage" of a nation.


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SkinnedWolf
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29 Mar 2022, 8:32 pm

shlaifu wrote:
SkinnedWolf wrote:
magz wrote:
What I understand about the story - correct me if I'm wrong:

1. Western and Chinese definitions of "terrorism" differ but some Uyghur groups fit both of these definitions (random mass attacks);
2. The Chinese government adresses it in ways within their own understanding of being civil;
3. Horrible situation in some facilities mirror general low standard of life in poorer parts of China;
4. Similarily, some policies Westerners find unthinkable - information control, state control on reproduction, ban on gatherings - apply to all the Chinese citizens;
5. There are ethnic tensions within China and, similarily to e.g. USA, they are delicate matter, largely taboo, with a lot of affirmative actions being made by governments to counter bias within the society;
6. Chinese secrecy and censorship may be more a cultural problem of unwilling to publicly admit and discuss problems, not necessarily a sign of ill will.

Is it correct?

Correct
Very precise summary.


so... genocide with Chinese characteristics?
That's one way to read this post: "you cannot judge by anything but Chinese standards." There's an argument to be made for that, but human rights are supposed to be absolute, and human rights violations are meant to be absolute.
The West commits its own share of human rights violations, to be clear.

I was quite impressed by the incredibly straight forward approach by the CCP, by the residential properties being cleared to make way for highways. I've been to third world countries and spent most time in traffic jams. Not so in China. I have used chinese public transport, and overall I was quite impressed by both how relatively well things are working, considering every bit of infrastructure has to carry 20 million people in every major city.
I understand that the human rights view is a western view with its own historical contingency. and still... I don't think a benevolent dictator is anything less of a dictator, and a human rights violation is anything less of a human rights violation if committed during a "developmental stage" of a nation.

I don't see why this is "genocide", they obviously didn't target any one ethnic group.
The accusers need to claim that they are carrying out "genocide" against all Chinese (I don't think this accusation is completely false, joke).

Mistakes made at any stage are mistakes. The CCP is clearly not good at admitting mistakes.
But given what other countries are doing, the CCP has not dragged out its refusal to admit that it was wrong for too long.
I believe that any idea needs to have an economic basis. A clear trend is: with the improvement of living standards, Chinese citizens have higher and higher requirements for human rights.
I'll wait (and try to push) them to make a change.

"The residential properties being cleared" is known as "demolition" in China.
Until 2010, forced demolition caused many tragedies.
But later on, being demolished has been seen as a blessing, as the government will pay a lot of compensation for the demolition, including new housing and cash.
Although I personally think it sometimes has the intention of "getting the less well-off out of the big city cores", it's generally a policy that satisfies the vast majority of people and can be rejected.
They change quickly on some issues. Here is an example.


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magz
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30 Mar 2022, 1:14 am

I think "genocide" might be a wrong word - it just resonates in the West better than other words.

Human rights violations would be probably the correct term.

I come into thinking that Uyghur activists are currently the most willing to talk about them - and, for their networks in Central Asia and Middle East, they are also able to talk about it outside China. Their stories are likely spiced with their own beef against China.

So, what we consider human rights violations are widespread in China - but we get particular Uyghur activist perspective on it because other possible perspectives are better silenced.


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funeralxempire
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30 Mar 2022, 2:02 am

magz wrote:
I think "genocide" might be a wrong word - it just resonates in the West better than other words.

Human rights violations would be probably the correct term.

I come into thinking that Uyghur activists are currently the most willing to talk about them - and, for their networks in Central Asia and Middle East, they are also able to talk about it outside China. Their stories are likely spiced with their own beef against China.

So, what we consider human rights violations are widespread in China - but we get particular Uyghur activist perspective on it because other possible perspectives are better silenced.


Might at least some of the issue be due to bad faith on our part due to historic human rights failings of the PRC and similar regimes?

Goals, intents, exact details of how things are conducted, etc end up being overlooked because of biases both from the sources and from those conveying the news.

I can only think of my country's shameful history with some ethnic groups and the attitudes that informed them. They really were convinced that it was a kind and noble goal to eradicate indigenous culture and make indigenous peoples cease to exist as an identifiable population.

Similar oversights can be made by any government that won't really be identifiable for what they are as they are occurring because of some other interest being much more highly valued. If the government tends to be equal opportunity in aggressively trying to change culture they might miss out on why it counts as cultural genocide when they're not targeting any one group, they're targeting every group when instead it's fair to argue that it's cultural genocide against many groups.

Beyond that, sometimes when it happens closer to home there's better PR. Often times issues like environmental racism that might get overlooked when they're relevant in say Canada or the US might be easier for people in a nation that western media wishes to portray negatively to pick up and get traction when reporting on.


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magz
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30 Mar 2022, 2:26 am

When things are close, there's also simply better knowledge and understanding on what's going on, especially when you have access to multiple different perspectives.


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The_Walrus
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30 Mar 2022, 8:31 am

I’m surprised how willing many here have been to accept that the genocide is not happening.

There are ten million Uighurs in East Turkestan (Xinjang). Around 10% are currently in “Counter-Extremism Camps”, and 20% are in “Special Re-education Camps”. A few % are also in conventional prisons. Those figures are much higher than the rate among the Chinese population at large - one in three Chinese people in a “Special Re-education Camp” is an Uighur despite them being less than 1% of the population. It’s also about twenty times higher than the proportion of African American adults who are imprisoned in the US, which is already shockingly high. There are over 300 prison camps in East Turkestan, and many are expanding.

Sources:
https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases ... wsID=23452
https://xjdp.aspi.org.au/
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/ ... ends-camps
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/ ... -humanity/



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30 Mar 2022, 8:40 am

The_Walrus wrote:
I’m surprised how willing many here have been to accept that the genocide is not happening. . .
Are you also surprised that many of them are PRC nationals?  I am not.



magz
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30 Mar 2022, 8:51 am

Well, some of SkinnedWolf's claims are contradicted by Amnestly International reports - e.g. the topic we previously discussed via PMs, being language and customs.

Being familiar with Russia and extrapolating it to China, I'm not surprised. Russians are not allowed to call their war "war". The level of information control in China is even higher. Much higher. I very much doubt regular citizens know about things the state does not want them to know.

That's why we find it so important to have free information flow.

I still think it's worth to know how ordinary Chinese see things.


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Fnord
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30 Mar 2022, 8:54 am

I would like to find out how the typical Uighurs see things.



magz
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30 Mar 2022, 8:56 am

Fnord wrote:
I would like to find out how the typical Uighurs see things.
That would be the most interesting.
Having met some Turkish Kurds, I know not all of them support separatist movements.
I expect Uyghurs to be also quite divided.
However, current actions on the government's side may have strong uniting effect - just like Putin has practically united Ukraine. It may be dangerous because extremist Sunni networks have the most chance of surviving it.

While China violating human rights is awful, Sunni extremism is not a desired alternative.


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30 Mar 2022, 9:55 am

ETIM,EastTurkestanIslamicMovement,designated as a terrorist organization by the United Nations. Even if it's not on the US State Department's list of major foreign terrorist organizations.
https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/east-turkestan-islamic-movement-etim
Alert me if I'm citing sources that aren't authoritative enough.

Based on the CCP's style, I strongly suspect that the CCP will also arrest Uyghurs who have independent tendencies but do not belong to ETIM.
But there is also a question: how to distinguish them exactly?

I read all the links.

Quote:
Those interviewed by Amnesty International described how mosques, shrines, gravesites, and other religious and cultural sites have been systematically demolished or repurposed throughout Xinjiang.

I believe in this one. My friends living in the Hui Autonomous Region (they are the largest Muslim ethnic group in China) reported in previous years that the government had demolished Muslim buildings in the region with a Middle Eastern style.

In the not-so-distant past, when Xinjiang's agriculture was not yet automated, a large number of Han people would enter Xinjiang during the harvest season to look for jobs and get rich pay.
There are currently complaints online that the phenomenon is no longer happening.
It is unclear whether it is because of the high level of automation in agriculture or because these jobs are being replaced by Uyghurs.

Regarding the analysis of the large number of minority birth rates, I have another conjecture:
Facts section:
Previously, propaganda in the Western world mentioned that 80% of IUDs are used in Xinjiang.
The figures used officially by China differ by orders of magnitude from this figure. (but still more than population ratio)
Another official-backed media responded on the Internet: Celebrate that Uyghur women are no longer reproductive slaves.
Conjecture part: Three factors:
A. It is a fact that some Uyghurs are forcibly detained. This creates inevitable fluctuations in fertility rates.
B.It is a fact that the original culture of Uyghur Muslims is strongly patriarchal. Uyghur women have gained more reproductive autonomy in the CCP's "de-radicalization" campaign. And this "may" use the implementation of the family planning policy.
C.It's a fact that higher educational attainment (and economic level) lowers fertility. The CCP has spent a lot of energy in the past few years on poverty alleviation and job creation in Xinjiang.

Regarding "Ratio of Han Chinese to Ethnic Minorities in County-level Administrative Units in Xinjiang Autonomous Region, 2018."
The ratio of Han and Uyghur nationalities is shown in color. The pure red blocks, if I remember correctly, are the "Construction Corps" stationed in Xinjiang in the early days of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

The reference to "China's broader demographic crisis" is interesting. I will talk about what the CCP did to bring about this result in the next post.


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kraftiekortie
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30 Mar 2022, 10:09 am

For a nation to destroy the sacred buildings and other sacred items of any religion is a totally atrocious thing.



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30 Mar 2022, 10:16 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
For a nation to destroy the sacred buildings and other sacred items of any religion is a totally atrocious thing.

I personally am not that sensitive to religion.

But one fact is:
The vast majority of Islamic buildings in China are funded by the government.
In the years when the Islamic influence was at its greatest, they even built large mosques in places where there were not many Muslims at all.
Many people think this is a mistake.


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magz
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30 Mar 2022, 10:22 am

Government-controlled version of Islam?


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kraftiekortie
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30 Mar 2022, 10:28 am

Neither am I. I'm an atheist.

But if, say, Israel destroyed mosques and churches in the Palestinian Authority territory, I would find that to be an extreme atrocity.



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30 Mar 2022, 10:29 am

magz wrote:
Government-controlled version of Islam?

http://www.chinaislam.net.cn/indexh.html
This is the official website of the China Islamic Association. They are distributed in various Muslim gathering places.

All legal religious associations in China, as well as other parties (yes, China is nominally a democratic consultative system, although I doubt they can have much influence) are "communicated" by the United Front Work Department.
The CCP will not allow an internal force with great autonomy. Just as they prohibit assemblies and prohibit unsanctioned formation of organizations.


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