The below article was published by Voice of America, photo credit: Reuters
WASHINGTON, DC —Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent activities and speeches on Xinjiang have attracted widespread attention, revealing complex dynamics in the region.
On August 26, Xi Jinping held a meeting in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, before returning to Beijing after attending the BRICS summit in South Africa. At this meeting, he accepted a report on the work of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Party Committee, local government, and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.
It was Mr. Xi’s third visit to Xinjiang since he assumed the presidency of China a decade ago. His first visit to the region was in 2014 and his second time in July last year. Notably, his visit to Xinjiang in July 2022 came just after the U.S. government enacted an important law in June aimed at restricting imports of products linked to forced labor by Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
At last week’s meeting, Xi said: “This is true for Xinjiang, and so is the whole country. The two miracles of rapid economic development and long-term social stability complement each other, and this is a truth that has been proven by history. ”
The central theme of Xi Jinping’s emphasis is that stability is essential to Xinjiang’s economic development and prosperity. Xi said that without a stable social environment, economic development will be hindered.
“Stability has always been the lifeline of Xinjiang’s development and prosperity, both in the past and in the future. Today’s Xinjiang is in a critical period of high-quality development, and a stable social environment is more needed,” Xi said.
Ilshat Hassan Kokbore, a Uyghur political analyst in the United States and vice chairman of the executive committee of the World Uyghur Congress, noted that Xi’s focus on Xinjiang’s economic development and assimilation policies is not new.
In an interview with VOA, Ilisciati said: “This is China’s long-standing policy in Xinjiang. Essentially, the so-called economic development of Xinjiang means that the Chinese Communist Party will increase its control over land and population by moving more Han Chinese into Xinjiang, which will automatically accelerate the assimilation of indigenous Turkic peoples, including Uyghurs. ”
In addition, Xi Jinping said that “whether it is the introduction of laws, regulations or policy measures, whether it is conducive to strengthening the commonality of the Chinese nation and enhancing the sense of community of the Chinese nation should be the primary consideration.” “It is necessary to resolutely promote education in the common spoken and written language of the state. We should do a solid job in forging the sense of community of the Chinese nation. ”
“Chinese civilization is the root of the cultures of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. To strengthen the great unity of the Chinese nation, the long-term and fundamental thing is to strengthen cultural identity,” Xi stressed.
Mr. Ilichati said Mr. Xi’s view, or the view of the Chinese Communist Party, or perhaps the view of most Chinese, is that a larger Han population would help stabilize the region.
“There is a neglected point of view in terms of the Chinese Communist Party’s Xinjiang policy,” he explained. The view of most Chinese is that they will only feel safer if a place looks more Chinese. ”
This point is further elaborated by Ilishati, who said that Confucianism, a traditional Chinese ideology, emphasizes unity over diversity. This view underscores the uniqueness and universal applicability of Confucianism, which continues to have a significant impact on the CCP leadership and the broader Chinese population.
“That’s why I say that Xi’s speech is not new; This was the policy of the Nationalist Government and the policy of Mao Zedong. Since Xi came to power, he has strengthened this policy through violence and brutality. ”
Another key topic in Xi Jinping’s speech in Urumqi was “making good use of legal weapons”, and he emphasized the effective use of legal mechanisms to improve the level of legal governance and lay a solid foundation for sustained stability.
“It is necessary to focus on long-term peace and stability, hold high the banner of the rule of law, make good use of legal weapons, improve the level of rule of law, and build a stable foundation for the rule of law” “We must enhance the sense of danger, be prepared for danger in times of peace, pay close attention to various tasks, and consolidate the hard-won social stability,” Xi said.
Salih Hudayar, the prime minister of East Turkestan’s government-in-exile in Washington, told VOA that China’s “rule of law” is often a tool of governance, rather than a system that guarantees individual rights and freedoms.
“In East Turkestan, the application of these laws is inconsistent,” Hudayar said. While they may be beneficial to Chinese colonizers, they do not protect the life, liberty, cultural, linguistic, and religious freedoms of Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in East Turkestan, nor do they protect what they call ‘self-government’. In fact, a plethora of draconian laws have been enacted under the false pretense of ‘counter-terrorism and anti-separatism,’ ‘development,’ and ‘modernization,’ and are designed to justify China’s continued colonization, genocide, and occupation in East Turkestan. ”
Some Western countries, including the United States, have characterized China’s treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim communities as genocide. Last August, the UN Human Rights Office also pointed out that China may have committed crimes against humanity in the region. Despite these allegations, the Chinese government has firmly denied them, dismissing them as nonsense fabricated by anti-China forces.
According to Elisati, China lacks a real legal system. Instead, it operates according to order and party policy. The word “law” is ostensibly used to describe the CCP government as a modern authority. However, it obscures the brutal reality of the CCP’s violent repression, especially against innocent groups such as Uyghurs.
“We shouldn’t be fooled by the CCP because it uses legal jargon. Historically, China has never had a law as understood by the civilized world, which is a consensus rule for all stakeholders. The central government follows the CCP’s guidance, and the so-called legislature passes ‘laws’ by order of the CCP’s Politburo,” Ilishati said.
Xi’s emphasis on the “rule of law” is essentially a cover-up to the Uyghur genocide by portraying brutal repression as a legal measure, Ilisati noted.
This tactic is similar to the actions of the Nazi regime against Jews during World War II. The Chinese government uses an opaque legal system to make arrests and sentence them swiftly in legal jargon. In fact, it was a means to eliminate the indigenous population, ensure CCP control, and promote the exploitation of Han resources. The goal is to homogenize Xinjiang with the rest of China, making it a springboard for China’s expansion of influence in Eurasia. Elisati said.