by Barkley Rosser
On October 5, 2022, the Washington Post published a front section story, “Uyghyr crackdown eases, but Xinjiang;s scars endure,” by Eva Dou and Kate Cadell. The article documents the ongoing human rights problems and a lack of transparency in Xinjiang province in China, including ongoing use of forced labor in prisons in industrial parks, in the wake of criticism of its record in that province by the UN. The article reports it appears China is no longer sending Uyghur and Kazakh Muslim minority members to infamous “reeducation” camps. Indeed, many of these camps are now being closed entirely. The story provides a photo of a former one, now closed, in Kashgar, the second largest city in the province and a famous stop on the historic Silk Road.
I applaud this development and hope it continues. Besides the UN criticism, I suspect Xi Jinping is looking for some favorable news in anticipation of his bid to get a third five year term as Party Chair in the forthcoming CCP congress. I hope this new and improved policy continues beyond that event.
There continues to be other human rights problems in China. Repression of speech and political activity continues to increase in Hong Kong, with a resulting exodus of people happening. There continues to be auxiliary health and other issues associated with the strong lockdowns associated with the pandemic. Those have resulted in low rates of the disease itself happening.
But I must note and applaud when there is an improvement in the human rights situation anywhere in this world. And where there is such a strong trend to more authoritarianism in so many other places, including in the US.