The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) is the site of the largest mass repression of an ethnic and/or religious minority in the world today. Researchers estimate that since 2016 one million people have been detained there without trial. In the detention centres individuals are exposed to deeply invasive forms of surveillance and psychological stress, while outside them more than ten million Turkic Muslim minorities are subjected to a network of hi-tech surveillance systems, checkpoints, and interpersonal monitoring. Existing reportage and commentary on the crisis tends to address these issues in isolation, but this groundbreaking volume brings them together, exploring the interconnections between the core strands of the Xinjiang emergency in order to generate a more accurate understanding of the mass detentions’ significance for the future of President Xi Jinping’s China.
Colonialism and settler colonialism as pathways to cultural genocide?
The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) is the site of the largest mass repression of an ethnic and/or religious minority in the world today. Researchers estimate that since 2016 at least one million people have been detained without trial in the XUAR (Batke 2019 ; de Hahn 2019 ). Analysis based on Chinese government procurement contracts for construction of these centres and Google Earth satellite imaging has revealed the existence of hundreds of large, prison-like facilities throughout Xinjiang (Sudworth 2018 ; Zenz 2019 ; Ruser
Even the neatly staged scene inside one of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region's (XUAR) ‘vocational training centres’ was unnerving. An unidentified young Uyghur woman dressed in a red-and-black tracksuit spoke to a Reuters reporter as dozens of other Uyghurs donning the same uniform wrote feverishly behind schoolhouse-style desks. Her eyes nervously shifted on- and off-camera. She recalled suffering from extremist thoughts, which had invaded her brain after she listened to several religious sermons delivered by a non-state-employed imam
At the start of 1917, Britain appeared to have secured a range of legal rights for its British community in Xinjiang. British subjects received tax exemption benefits and the right, as a defendant, to have their criminal or civil case heard by a British representative. However, the legitimacy of these rights was taken away after the Russian Revolution later that year, when the Soviets announced their intention to rescind extraterritorial privileges for Russian subjects in China. British consuls-general had always maintained that the Sino-Russian agreements
Uyghurs living outside China began to lose contact with their loved ones in Xinjiang
from towards the end of 2016. By July 2017, many thousands in the Uyghur diaspora have been made to be unable to communicate with families in China. Phone calls are unanswered. Text messages are rejected – a clear indication that the senders are blocked or phone contacts of loved ones have been deleted. Many Uyghurs whose calls are answered have been asked not to call again
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Humanitarian Basics ( London :
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‘ Democracy in Crisis ’, https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/freedom-world-2018
(accessed 9 September
This book tells the story of British imperial agents and their legal powers on the British-Chinese frontiers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It offers new perspectives on the British presence in Yunnan and Xinjiang in western China and the legal connections to the British colonies of India and Burma. It examines how the mobility of people across borders forced consuls to adapt and shape law to accommodate them. Salt and opium smugglers, Indian and Afghan traders, and itinerant local populations exposed the jurisdictional gaps between consular and colonial authority. Local and transfrontier mobility defined and shaped British jurisdiction across the frontier in complex ways. It argues that frontier consular agents played key roles in creating forms of transfrontier legal authority in order to govern these migratory communities. Consular legal practices coexisted alongside, and often took advantage of, other local customs and legal structures. The incorporation of indigenous elites, customary law and Chinese authority was a distinctive feature of frontier administration, with mediation an important element of establishing British authority in a contested legal environment. The book is essential reading for historians of China, the British Empire, and socio-legal historians interested in the role of law in shaping semicolonial and colonial societies.
To travel to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in 2018 was to be confronted with the violence and omnipresence of the colonial Chinese party-state and with the successes of development. No matter which part of the region you travelled to, and which parts of the cities you went to, the mass surveillance was ubiquitous. What changed, however, was the aural and visual quality of the experience. In the areas with more Uyghurs, the near silence of the once bustling streets and markets was felt through all of one's senses as a scream of
The evolution and implications of the ‘Xinjiang mode’ of counterterrorism
The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of the People's Republic of China (PRC) is now the site of the largest mass repression of an ethnic and/or religious minority in the world today. Researchers estimate that since 2016 over one million people (mostly ethnic Uyghurs) have been detained without trial in the XUAR in a system of ‘re-education’ camps (Zainab 2019 ; Zenz 2019 ). Outside of the camps, the region's Turkic Muslim population are subjected to a dense network of hi-tech surveillance systems
Between 1904 and 1942, the British consular representative and his subordinates in Xinjiang heard thousands of cases involving British defendants. The cases covered a range of issues, from civil suits involving marriage, land ownership and debt payments to criminal cases involving assault, arms and drug trafficking, and murder. Some of the cases were politically and culturally sensitive, raising questions about the nature and scope of British consular jurisdiction. In the previous chapter, I explored the legal frameworks of consular jurisdiction and highlighted