Reporter - Xinjiang: China′s Muslim Minorities | Reporter - On Location | DW | 13.02.2021
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Reporter - Xinjiang: China's Muslim Minorities

Beijing has been subjecting the ethnic Uighur minority in the region of Xinjiang to repressions for years. Now, it has grown into a form of cultural warfare that even affects Uighurs in exile. Human rights activists say China is committing genocide.

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Uighurs speak their own language, which is similar to Turkish, and mostly keep the Muslim faith. They have a culture distinct from the majority Chinese Han population. But calls from Uighurs, Kazakhs and other Turkic peoples for more autonomy in Xianjiang have gone unheeded. Instead, Beijing has been subjecting people in the far-western region to more and more repressive measures. There are reports of so-called "re-education camps” — in which up to a million people are detained and forced to work — and allegations of forced sterilizations. Officially, these camps are said to be vocational training centers. There is also growing evidence that the authorities are systematically attempting to wipe out the cultural identity of these minorities: their languages, religion, art and culture. The methods here might be more subtle that those used in the internment camps, but no less effective. And Beijing’s long arm reaches beyond the borders of China. Dissidents have accused Chinese intelligence services of harassing and persecuting them in Europe and elsewhere. They are convinced that if the world does not intervene soon, their people will soon be wiped out forever.