Show No Mercy To Uighur, Chinese leader Xi Jinping Told Officials: Report
More than 400 pages of the leaked documents acquired by the NewYork Times revealed that China’s rule with an iron fist on Uighurs and other minorities in Xinjiang comes from directives by the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping as he ordered to “show absolutely no mercy” in the “struggle against terrorism, infiltration and separatism”.
The documents were leaked by a member of the Chinese political establishment who wished anonymity.
According to the report, Xi first called for the crackdown in a series of private speeches given to officials during and after a visit to Xinjiang in 2014, weeks after Uighur militants had attacked a train station, stabbing and killing 31 people.
“We must be as harsh as them,” Xi said, adding, “and show absolutely no mercy.” In the speeches, Xi did not explicitly order the creation of a large network of camps but called for the party to use the “organs of dictatorship” to deal with extremism.
Beijing has time and again refuted the claims that they run detention centres in Xinjiang and maintain hard-lines on the Uighur minorities. China paints this as a ‘voluntary vocational training centres’ intended to provide ‘students’ with job skills.
Other document disclosed that Xi reinforced the US’ way of ‘war on terror’, following the September 11 attacks, to deal with the Uighurs minorities.
Among the leaked documents, the most telling was the order given to local officials in Turpan in southern Xinjiang to tell the children of Uighurs Muslim families that their loved ones had been exposed to religious extremism and were receiving “concentrated education” to eradicate them of “violent terrorist thoughts.
If asked why the relatives could not return home if they are only receiving training, officials were to employ the language of disease to justify the prolonged detention and isolation. “Freedom is only possible when this ‘virus’ in their thinking is eradicated and they are in good health,” the script said.
The documents also highlight the extent of resistance from local officials. In 2017, more than 12,000 investigations were conducted into party members for violations related to the “fight against separatism”.
According to internal documents, one Han Chinese official was persecuted for trying to shield Uighur officials.
Another, named Wang Yongzhi, in charge of Yarkand county, was made an example of after he defied orders and quietly released more than 7,000 detainees. “He refused,” an internal document said, “to round up everyone who should be rounded up.”
Beijing has not issued any response to the leaked documents. While the New York Times is blocked in mainland China, the report appears to have been circulated. On the microblog Weibo, often heavily censored, some users posted in English: “He refused”.
One Weibo user wrote: “Time records everything. Those who need attention the most are often the ones who are not able to ask for it. The tide of history is surging. The truth will come out one day. That’s what I believe.”