Weekly News Brief on Uighurs and China – July 9

Tuesday, July 9, 2019


Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says extradition bill ‘dead’

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has said her administration’s bill to allow people to be sent to the Chinese mainland for trial was “dead” following a series of mass protests, but she stopped short of completely withdrawing the so-called extradition bill as demonstrators have demanded. Beijing-backed Lam admitted that the government’s work on the issue had been a “total failure”.

The bill, which would have allowed people in Hong Kong to be extradited to China for trial, has sparked huge and at times violent street protests and plunged the former British colony into its biggest political crisis in decades.

However, the protesters appeared unimpressed with Lam’s latest attempt to reduce the political temperature in the semi-autonomous territory. Local activist Ventus Lau Wing-Hong said he could see no reason for the demonstrations to stop. “The response just shows that she is still very stubborn,” Lau said. “To avoid using the word ‘withdraw’ shows that she still wants to play the word game instead of directly answering yes to our demand. I can’t see any reasons why people will stop their protests.”

Read the full story at aljazeera.com, July 9, 2019

China demands US cancel proposed $2.2b arms sales to Taiwan

China has demanded that the United States “immediately cancel” a potential $2.2bn arms sale to Taiwan, including battle tanks and anti-aircraft missiles.

The move would be Washington’s first big-ticket military sale to the democratically-governed island in decades, and comes amid deteriorating ties between the US and China, the world’s two largest economies that have been locked in an acrimonious trade war.

Addressing reporters on Tuesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that Beijing had lodged formal complaints through diplomatic channels expressing “strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition” to the proposed sale.

Read the full story at aljazeera.com, July 9, 2019

Campaign to Deface Mosques in Western China Heightens Hui Muslims’ Anxiety

The enactment of CCP’s plan to completely “sinicize” Islam outside of Xinjiang within five years is in full force: One after another, the star and crescent symbols and dome-shaped structures are being forcibly dismantled from mosques, replaced with Chinese flags and communist propaganda slogans. As Hui Muslims in the western provinces of Gansu and Shaanxi and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region see their symbols disappear, their fears of the same fate as Uyghurs in Xinjiang intensify.

In April, a mosque for women on Motianyuan Road in Baoji city in Shannxi was “sinicized”: not only the big blue dome and the star and crescent symbols have been removed from the roof, but the Islamic-style façade, door and window frames have also been changed to reflect a more Chinese style. The “facelifted” mosque looks more like an office building now, and the national flag has been planted on the roof.

As the de-Arabization campaign sweeps across western China, many Hui residents are afraid that they will soon face the same plight as Uyghurs in Xinjiang, even though the CCP regarded them as the exemplary Chinese Muslims and patriots until recently

Read the full story at bitterwinter.org, July 8, 2019

Erdogan says Uighur Crisis should not spoil Turkey-China relations

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took a soft line on China’s mass detention centers in Xinjiang (aka East Turkistan) while in the Chinese capital Beijing this week, in a departure from the previous harsh criticisms made by his government. Turkey is one of the few Muslim-majority countries to have criticized China’s “re-education” camps, where the US State Department says up to two million Muslim-majority Uyghurs are being held.

But after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Erdogan said he believed it was possible to “find a solution to this issue that takes into consideration the sensitivities on both sides,” according to his communications director.

The Turkish leader said he had discussed the “Uyghur issue” with Xi, but cautioned that when the issue is “exploited” it reflects “poorly on the Turkish-Chinese relationship.”

“Those who exploit the issue, those who try to gain something from the issue, by acting emotionally without thinking of the relationship that Turkey has with another country, unfortunately end up costing both the Turkish republic and their kinsman,” he said, during a question and answer session with reporters.

Read the full story at cnn.com, July 5, 2019

China separating Uighur children from families

China is deliberately separating Muslim children from their families, faith and language in its far western region of Xinjiang (aka East Turkistan), according to new research. At the same time as hundreds of thousands of adults are being detained in giant camps, a rapid, large-scale campaign to build boarding schools is under way.

Based on publicly available documents, and backed up by dozens of interviews with family members overseas, the BBC has gathered some of the most comprehensive evidence to date about what is happening to children in the region.

Records show that in one township alone more than 400 children have lost not just one but both parents to some form of internment, either in the camps or in prison. Formal assessments are carried out to determine whether the children are in need of “centralised care”. Alongside the efforts to transform the identity of Xinjiang’s adults, the evidence points to a parallel campaign to systematically remove children from their roots.

Read the full story at bbc.com, July 4, 2019


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