'Xinjiang Papers': Leak reveals connection between Xi Jinping's speeches and the Uyghur crackdown

WION Web Team
Xinjiang, China Published: Nov 30, 2021, 03:02 PM(IST)

'Xinjiang Papers', named after the area where most of China's Uyghurs reside, reveal how senior Communist Party officials, including Premier Li Keqiang, made statements that directly influenced policies towards Uyghurs and other Muslims. Photograph:( Reuters )

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These documents, according to analysts, prove senior government leaders called for mass incarceration and forced labour

Top Chinese officials, including President Xi Jinping, have now been directly implicated in the crackdown on Uyghur Muslims in a newly published cache of documents.

In previously unpublished documents, it has been shown that Chinese leaders' speeches in 2014 were directly related to the country's crackdown on Uyghur Muslims and other minorities in Xinjiang province.

These documents, according to analysts, prove senior government leaders called for mass incarceration and forced labour.

Also read | More than 40 countries ask China to respect rights of Uyghurs

Although some of the documents were the subject of an earlier report, there is new information in the latest leak.

Despite being handed in September to the Uyghur Tribunal - an independent people's tribunal in the UK these documents have never been published in full.

"Xinjiang Papers", named after the area where most of China's Uyghurs reside, reveal how senior Communist Party officials, including Premier Li Keqiang, made statements that directly influenced policies towards Uyghurs and other Muslims.

According to the material published online, "the material provides substantial evidence linking numerous aspects of Beijing’s crackdown in Xinjiang to explicit statements and demands made by central government figures in 2014," this includes "Mass internments in re-education camps", "Poverty alleviation through coercive labour transfers", "Optimizing the ethnic population distribution by increasing Han population shares", "Criminalizing customary religious practices".

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There are three speeches by Chinese President Xi Jinping in April 2014 that address security, population control, and punishment of the Uyghur population. A few of them are designated top secret. 

The documents were obtained by German academic Adrian Zenz who claims they are significant because they show multiple links between the demands of Chinese leaders in 2014 and what happened in Xinjiang.

Xinjiang is alleged to be marked by mass internment in re-education camps as well as forced labour transfers, in addition to optimising its ethnic population by increasing the Han population.

According to Zenz, the documents show the leadership's long-term intention to commit genocide to protect the rule of the CCP.

Also read | China using predictive policing on Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang: Report

One of the conversations covered in the leak shows that Xi argues that the belt and road initiative, one of his signature foreign policy initiatives, requires a stable domestic security environment. Xinjiang's southern situation, he argues, jeopardizes the country's whole national security, as well as China's global goals in the 21st century.

Allegations of human rights violations in Xinjiang have brought massive international pressure on China. 

Watch | China: Leaked papers link top Chinese leaders to Uyghur crackdown

A number of countries, including the US, Canada, and the Netherlands, accuse China of genocide and crimes against humanity.

China, however, consistently denies committing genocide against Uyghurs, asserting that its crackdown in Xinjiang is necessary to prevent terrorism and root out extremist Islam.

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