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xinjiang

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SCMP editor who quit over rejected story on Xinjiang human rights abuses is warned not to publish it

A former South China Morning Post (SCMP) editor who quit the publication last year over its rejection of a report on human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang region received a threat of “further action” over alleged “unauthorized use of materials” from the Hong Kong outlet.

On Oct. 13, Peter Langan revealed that he resigned from his senior editor role at the newspaper’s China desk during a Foreign Correspondents’ Club talk in Japan.

China facing UN action after damning human rights report

CHINA XINJIANG
  • China is reportedly facing action from some countries in the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) following a recent report that accused it of “serious human rights violations” against Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
  • Diplomats from three countries and a rights expert previously accused China of attempting to block the report’s publication.
  • The debate on holding China accountable for its alleged abuses reportedly intensified as the HRC opened a new term on Monday.

China is reportedly facing a collective response from member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) after the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) concluded that Beijing has committed “serious human rights violations” against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.

The violations, which are seen as potential crimes against humanity, are detailed in a long-awaited report released on Aug. 31. Diplomats from three countries and a rights expert previously accused China of working to block its publication.

Long-awaited UN report on human rights abuses in Xinjiang triggers fiery Beijing response

UN xinjiang report
  • On Aug. 31, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released a 48-page report that found “serious human rights violations” in the Chinese government’s crackdown on ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region.
  • OHCHR said that the extent of arbitrary detentions against Uyghur and others in the context of "restrictions and deprivation more generally of fundamental rights, enjoyed individually and collectively, may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity."
  • The report also highlighted how Chinese authorities engaged in acts of intimidation, threats and reprisals against victims and their relatives who are now living abroad and speaking about their experiences in Xinjiang.
  • “It is completely a politicized document that disregards facts, and reveals explicitly the attempt of some Western countries and anti-China forces to use human rights as a political tool,” Liu Yuyin, spokesperson for the Chinese mission to Geneva, said in a statement.
  • Meanwhile, rights advocates, foreign officials and Uyghur exiles who are looking into endorsing the issue before the U.N. Human Rights Council this month have welcomed the report.
  • “Despite the Chinese government’s strenuous denials, the U.N. has now officially recognized that horrific crimes are occurring,” said Uyghur Human Rights Project Director Omer Kanat.

A United Nations report accusing China of committing grave human rights abuses in Xinjiang has triggered a fiery response from Beijing. 

On Wednesday, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released a 48-page report that found “serious human rights violations” in the Chinese government’s crackdown on ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region.

China trying to block United Nations report on Xinjiang human rights, sources claim

  • China is trying to block a United Nations Human Rights Commission report that details the conditions of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, according to three diplomats and a rights expert who spoke to Reuters.
  • Beijing’s plea allegedly came in the form of a letter directly sent to Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet, who vowed to publish the document before she leaves office on Aug. 31.
  • The report has been in the works for months but was delayed for unknown reasons, with Bachelet’s office stating on Wednesday that it is still “being finalized.”
  • The U.S., which accused China of genocide and other crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, urged Bachelet’s office to publish the document without delay, adding that it is “highly concerned about any effort by Beijing to suppress the report's release.”

China is reportedly attempting to block the publication of a United Nations Commission on Human Rights report that details the conditions of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.

The news comes from a letter making rounds among diplomats from three countries who received it, according to Reuters. A rights expert was also reported to have knowledge on the document.

Islam in China must be ‘Chinese in orientation,’ adhere to socialism, Xi Jinping says in Xinjiang visit

  • During a recent visit to the Xinjiang region on Saturday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Islam in China must be "Chinese in orientation" and that religious groups should adhere to socialist principles.
  • According to state-run Xinhua News Agency, Xi highlighted the importance of religious followers staying closely united with the Communist Party and the government.
  • “China, a country with ethnic unity, is invincible and will have a bright future, and our Second Centenary Goal is bound to be achieved and so is the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” Xi was quoted as saying.
  • The directive comes amid heavy criticism from the U.S. and several European countries that oppose China’s oppression of the Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in the region.

The Chinese government is pushing efforts to ensure that religious groups in China adhere to the socialist principles of the ruling Communist Party. 

President Xi Jinping reportedly gave the directive to officials during his recent four-day visit to China’s Xinjiang region, which concluded on Saturday.

China reacts as US law that bans imports linked to forced Uyghur labor takes effect

  • The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), which prevents imports linked to forced labor by Uyghurs and other persecuted groups in China, took effect on Tuesday.
  • On June 13, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency issued a notice to importers, instructing them that they are expected to map their supply chains, including the source of their raw materials, to ensure that their products are not made in part or wholly in Xinjiang or from companies with connections to forced labor.
  • “The new US law means it’s no longer business as usual for companies profiting from forced labor in China, and Xinjiang especially,” Jim Wormington, senior researcher and advocate for corporate accountability at Human Rights Watch, said. “Companies should swiftly identify any supply chain links to Xinjiang and exit the region or risk violating US law and seeing their goods detained at the US border.”
  • In a statement, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said the new law and the U.S. sanctions “represent an escalation of the U.S. suppression of China under the guise of human rights and prove that the United States wantonly undermines the global economic and trade rules, as well as the stability of the international industrial chain and supply chain.”

A new U.S. law that would prevent imports linked to forced labor by Uyghurs and other persecuted groups in China took effect on Tuesday. 

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), which President Joe Biden signed into law on Dec. 23, 2021, aims to penalize the Chinese government over its alleged oppression of the Uyghur people. It grants U.S. authorities increased powers to block the import of goods from the Xinjiang region. 

Avalanche of hacked Xinjiang Police documents, images expose Chinese government abuse of Uyghurs

  • A leaked cache of thousands of photos and official documents, titled “The Xinjiang Police Files,” reveal new information surrounding China’s detainment of its Uyghur population.
  • An anonymous hacker allegedly downloaded and decrypted the secret files from a number of police computer servers in Xinjiang before handing them to U.S.-based scholar Dr. Adrian Zenz.
  • The hacked files contain over 5,000 photographs of Uyghurs and other Chinese ethnic, Muslim minorities from the Xinjiang region taken by police between January and July 2018.
  • Also included are images of the detention centers themselves, supporting previous reports about the conditions of the facilities.
  • Despite the Chinese government’s insistence that the internment camps are “vocational schools,” records show armed officer guards are instructed with a “shoot-to-kill” policy for escapees.
  • Foreign Minister Wang Yi previously stated in 2019, “The truth is the education and training centres in Xinjiang are schools that help people free themselves from extremism,” referring to the Islamic religion.

A leaked cache of thousands of photos and official documents, titled “The Xinjiang Police Files,” reveal new information surrounding China’s detainment of its Uyghur population.

An anonymous hacker allegedly downloaded and decrypted the secret files from a number of police computer servers in Xinjiang before handing them to Dr. Adrian Zenz, a U.S.-based scholar who has previously published research on Xinjiang.

Report: Xinjiang cotton found in Adidas, Puma and Hugo Boss tops

  • Research suggests Xinjiang cotton is being used in T-shirts from some of Germany’s biggest apparel companies, including Adidas, Puma and Hugo Boss.
  • Agroisolab researchers explained that nature leaves behind a “signature” in cotton, caused by the “climate and geology” of a place.
  • The signature is what scientists call an “isotopic fingerprint,” which enables them to assign the place of origin in a piece of cotton.
  • Adidas and Puma made commitments in 2020 to not source any cotton from the Xinjiang region due to allegations of forced labor in the region.
  • Xinjiang cotton has been a high point of controversy due to reports that more than half a million ethnic minorities, particularly Uyghur Muslims, are being forced to pick cotton via “labor programs.”
  • In response to recent claims made in a report from The Guardian, both Adidas and Puma reiterated that their companies did not source cotton from the Xinjiang region.

Research suggests Xinjiang cotton is being used in T-shirts by some of Germany’s biggest apparel companies, despite their commitments not to source from the Chinese region due to allegations of forced labor. 

According to the German public broadcaster NDR on Thursday, scientists from the Agroisolab in Jülich revealed through isotope analysis that shirts from major German clothing labels, including Adidas, Puma and Hugo Boss, have traces of Xinjiang cotton in them.

China is tracking down Uyghurs across the world, independent study finds

UYGHUR_XINJIANG
  • China’s crackdown on Uyghurs extends beyond Xinjiang to a diaspora spread throughout the world, according to a new independent study.
  • Author Bradley Jardine describes the phenomenon as “transnational repression,” which can be traced back to 1997.
  • Between 1997 and January 2022, more than 1,500 Uyghurs were deported or extradited back to China, while over 5,000 more were subjected to intimidation and harassment, the study found.
  • The repression is expected to grow as China fortifies its tools to include cyberattacks and other forms of online harassment.
  • Jardine recommends the U.S. and other democratic countries to strengthen refugee resettlement programs, establish channels for harassment reporting and restrict exports on surveillance technologies.

In pursuit of its security ideals, China aims to track down every single Uyghur throughout the world, a new study reveals.

Beijing has devised a transnational system of surveillance, extradition and detention that is “pervasive, tenacious and often illegal,” according to research published by the Wilson Center’s Kissinger Institute on China and the United States.

NBA fans shown Chinese ambassador’s message amid criticism of players allegedly benefiting from Xinjiang forced labor

chineseambassadornba2
  • The Washington Wizards hosted their annual “Chinese New Year” celebration during a match with the Los Angeles Clippers on Jan. 25.
  • As part of the celebration, Qin Gang, the Chinese ambassador to the United States, recorded a video message for the event’s basketball players and their fans, praising the strong ties between the NBA and the Chinese market.
  • Qin’s message comes amid claims that some NBA players are working with companies tied to the alleged human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang region.

Fans who attended a recent NBA game were subjected to watching a video message from a Chinese official amid allegations that some of the league’s players are benefiting from human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang region. 

On Jan. 25, the Washington Wizards hosted their annual Lunar New Year celebration – which they refer to as “Chinese New Year” – during a match with the Los Angeles Clippers. The event featured performances, activities and a special matchup animation. Prior to the start of the game, the U.S. national anthem was performed using the pipa, a traditional Chinese instrument.

Intel accused of ‘cowardice’ over removal of Xinjiang reference after China backlash

  • Intel deleted references to China’s Xinjiang region from a letter to suppliers after sparking online controversy.
  • The letter originally urged suppliers to “ensure our supply chain does not use any labor or source goods or services from the Xinjiang region.”
  • Intel has since issued an apology, noting that it was merely complying with a new U.S. law banning imports from the region.

Tech company Intel was heavily criticized in China after posting an open letter urging its suppliers to avoid sourcing goods and services from the country’s Xinjiang region.

The semiconductor chip manufacturer appears to have backpedaled by issuing an apology following backlash from Chinese social media users and state-run news outlets, reported The Wall Street Journal

China accuses Walmart of ‘stupidity’ for pulling Xinjiang products

Walmart XinJiang Controversy
  • Walmart is the latest Western brand to be caught up in controversy while attempting to navigate Chinese politics.
  • Chinese social media users accused Sam's Club, the warehouse retailer owned by Walmart, of removing all Xinjiang-sourced products from its app in the country last month.
  • Online criticism prompted a dispute between the Chinese Communist Party and Sam’s Club, and China accused Sam’s Club of "stupidity" and "shortsightedness."

Walmart is the latest Western brand to become caught up in controversy while attempting to navigate Chinese politics.

Claims on Chinese social media