On Sanctioning the XPCC for its role in China’s Colonization, Genocide, and Occupation in East Turkistan

Friday, July 31, 2020
Washington, DC

PRESS STATEMENT – East Turkistan Government in Exile

The East Turkistan Government in Exile (ETGE) applauds the US Treasury Department for sanctioning the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), also known as the Bingtuan, for its role in China’s brutal campaign of colonization and genocide. The US also sanctioned Sun Jinlong, former Party Secretary of the XPCC, and Peng Jiarui, Deputy Party Secretary and Commander of the XPCC. 

On July 6, 2020, the East Turkistan Government in Exile and the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement submitted a formal complaint urging the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate and prosecute over 30 senior Chinese officials including Xi Jinping, Chen Quanguo, Sun Jinlong, and Peng Jiarui for genocide and other crimes against humanity.

Since its creation, the XPCC has played the most direct role in China’s colonization and occupation of East Turkistan and has for decades facilitated the genocide of East Turkistan’s people. In 1954, Chinese leader Mao Zedong directed PLA General Wang Zheng, who had led Communist China’s invasion of East Turkistan in 1949, to establish the XPCC as a paramilitary force that would colonize East Turkistan and assist the PLA in maintaining China’s control of East Turkistan. Since 1954, the XPCC evolved from a 175,000 strong paramilitary force to a 3.5 million strong paramilitary force as of 2020. 

Data table on the XPCC

Over the decades, numerous Chinese leaders have praised the XPCC for its role in maintaining China’s illegal occupation of East Turkistan. Former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping had described the XPCC as “the key force of maintaining stability in Xinjiang.” Former Chinese President Hu Jintao had praised the XPCC as a “mighty construction army” for brutally suppressing thousands of peaceful demonstrations in what later became known as the 2009 Urumchi Massacre. In early 2017, current Chinese President Xi Jinping praised the XPCC and urged it to play a more prominent role in ensuring China’s tight control of East Turkistan while also advocating the central role played by the XPCC in colonizing East Turkistan. 

Location of the headquarters of the XPCC’s 14 Divisions across Occupied East Turkistan

Since 2017, the XPCC has played a crucial role in China’s mass internment of over 3 million Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and other Turkic peoples in concentration camps, forced labor, forced bio-metric collection, forced population control and sterilization, and extensive surveillance across East Turkistan. The XPCC The XPCC runs at least 74 labor camps across Occupied East Turkistan, where Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples are used as slave labor. 

Earlier this year, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) identified 83 companies including Amazon, Apple, BMW, Dell, FILA, General Motors, Google, Hitachi, H&M, Huawei, Mercedes, Microsoft, Nike, Samsung, Sony, Volkswagen, Zara, and ZTE as having directly or indirectly benefited from the use of Uyghur slave labor. 

The US Government’s sanctioning of the XPCC is of great importance as it directly seeks to hold accountable the Chinese entity which has not only played the most direct role in China’s colonization and occupation of East Turkistan but also has for decades facilitated the genocide of East Turkistan’s people.

We thank the US Government and the Trump Administration for actively working to hold China accountable for its mass atrocities against East Turkistan and its peoples. We again urge the US Government and all countries across the world to formally recognize China’s atrocities in East Turkistan as a genocide and recognize East Turkistan as an Occupied Country. We call on all countries across the world to support our case at the ICC and take action against China’s brutal genocide and occupation in East Turkistan.

We urge all companies, especially western companies, to cease its operations in Occupied East Turkistan and take a stand against China’s brutal campaign of colonization, genocide, and slave labor. We urge companies to seek alternative supply chains and relocate their factories to  countries that respect basic human rights and are not complicit in slave labor in the 21st century.