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Leaked documents reveal details of China's clampdown on Uighurs,other Muslims in Xinjiang

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China put a million or more Uighurs and other Muslim minorities into detention camps and prisons in Xinjiang over the last three years under President Xi Jinping's directives to "show absolutely no mercy" in the struggle against terrorism, infiltration and separatism", reveal leaked documents released in US media.

Over 400-pages of documents of the Chinese government released by the New York Times, however, do not record Xi directly ordering the creation of the detention facilities. They, however, mention that he ascribed Xinjiang's instability to the widespread influence of toxic beliefs and demanded they be eradicated, as per an article by Austin Ramzy in the New York Times.

The documents, which the newspaper said were leaked by "a member of the Chinese political establishment", reveal that the Chinese government was aware of the backlash of the clampdown. The person who brought the papers to light expressed hope that their disclosure would prevent party leaders, including Xi, from escaping culpability for the mass detentions.

It may be noted that the United Nations experts and activists have said that at least 1 million Uighurs and members of other largely Muslim minority groups have been detained in camps in Xinjiang, a predominantly Muslim region, as part of a crackdown that has drawn condemnation from the United States and other countries.

One of the speeches delivered by Xi to party officials -- as cited in the documents -- read, "In recent years, Xinjiang has grown very quickly and the standard of living has consistently risen, but even so ethnic separatism and terrorist violence have still been on the rise. This goes to show that economic development does not automatically bring lasting order and security."

The internment camps in Xinjiang expanded rapidly in August 2016 after the appointment of Chen Quanguo, the current Communist Party Secretary of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, who distributed Xi's speeches to justify the campaign and exhorted officials to "round up everyone who should be rounded up," the documents reveal.

The documents have exposed the double standards of China on its war against terrorism, in view of the fact that its crackdown against Muslim minorities following the deadly knife attack of 2014 is in stark contrast with its decision to block the designation of Masood Azhar as a global terrorist as many as four times at the United Nations.

The country, which claimed to be fighting terror in its own territory prevented the United Nations from taking effective action against a terrorist whose outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed responsibility for the deadly Pulwama attack that claimed the lives of 40 Indian CRPF personnel earlier this year.

The country, however, was forced to change its stance under the international pressure and vote for a resolution at the UN sanctions committee declaring Azhar a global terrorist.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, November 17 2019. 20:53 IST
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