With technology and an iron fist, China has turned the Western region into a surveillance state like no other.

Did China just acknowledge the scale of its Xinjiang camps?
China released a white paper on Thursday claiming that its far-western region of Xinjiang has provided “vocational training” to nearly 1.3 million workers every year on average from 2014 to 2019. It comes as Beijing is facing mounting criticism from Western countries and human rights groups over its policies in the region, where it is believed to have detained at least 1 million Uygurs and other ethnic Muslim minorities in internment camps. China has been accused of subjecting detainees to political indoctrination and forced labor in the camps, but it has denied the allegations and insisted they are “vocational training centers” where people learn language and job skills. Observers said the
Chinese cotton ban set to shake up global fashion trade
US apparel groups are expecting a Trump administration decision as early as this week blocking imports of Chinese-made textile and apparel products, according to textiles industry sources and a former Trump White House trade official. The decision is expected to be made on the grounds that the products were made with forced labor in the Xinjiang region of China.  Such a move has the potential to affect tens of billions of dollars of US textile and clothing imports that contain cotton, yarn or fabric produced in the far-western region. It also could boomerang back on US cotton producers if Beijing retaliates. The US has accused the Chinese government of engaging in “widespread forced labor,”
Xinjiang residents grapple with sweeping coronavirus measures
Residents in China’s Xinjiang region say they are confined to their homes and forced to take herbal medicines during a blanket lockdown to contain a recent coronavirus outbreak, measures that they say are harsher than those elsewhere in the country. In Urumqi, the capital of the far western border region, most residents have been banned from leaving their apartments since July 16, when a fresh Covid-19 outbreak was discovered. To date, the virus has infected about 900 people in a city of 3.5 million. Although no new cases have been confirmed since August 16, residents say they have not been told about when the prolonged lockdown will be lifted. Two of them told Inkstone the strict lockdown m
China sanctions US officials in response to Xinjiang ban
China announced the details of its promised retaliation against the US for its sanctions over Xinjiang, sanctioning American officials and senators on Monday in the latest tit-for-tat confrontation in their deteriorating relations. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said the Chinese sanctions target Samuel Brownback, the US ambassador at large for international religious freedom, Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz and Representative Chris Smith. “Xinjiang is entirely internal affairs of China, and the US has no right to interfere,” Hua said. China’s announcement came after the US government on Thursday slapped sanctions on several Chinese senior officials in charge of the Xinjiang Uygur
Two in three Americans think poorly of China, survey says
Americans’ views on China have fallen to their lowest level since an annual poll started asking the question in 2005, according to survey results released Tuesday. The poll last month by the Washington think tank Pew Research Center found 66% of respondents held an unfavorable view of China, up from 47% in 2017 when President Donald Trump took office. And a large majority of the 1,000 Americans polled said they lacked confidence in President Xi Jinping to do the right thing when it came to global affairs, a steep increase since last year. The results come as the relationship between the two economic giants has deteriorated rapidly during the coronavirus outbreak. The two countries are engage
Uygurs abroad in mental health crisis over plight of relatives in Xinjiang
Several years ago, Ilshat Hassan contemplated buying a gun. He was receiving threats over the phone and online from people who took issue with his advocacy for the Uygur people, he says, and feared for the safety of his family. But his wife objected, and Hassan eventually abandoned the idea. They were both scared of the possibility that the state of his mental health could one day cause him to turn the firearm on himself. “Hurting myself,” says Hassan, an IT professional living in Virginia. “That was my concern.” Struggling with anxiety and depression, the 58-year-old is just one of many members of the Uygur diaspora who say their mental health is in crisis, triggered or exacerbated by the s
Fake resumes expose hiring biases against Muslims in China
A Muslim job seeker in China is less than half as likely to get a response from employers than their Han Chinese counterparts, according to a newly published study.  In an experiment carried out in 2017, researchers sent out more than 4,000 fictitious resumes from candidates identifying themselves by ethnicity – either Han, Hui or Uygur – to companies in major cities across China. The findings were published in December 2019. The Uygur and Hui, the two biggest Muslim-majority groups in the country, received far fewer replies than the ethnic Han job-seekers, according to the study, titled “Anti-muslim bias in the Chinese labor market.”  A Hui applicant is about half as likely to get a callbac
No deal and no name as German soccer counts the cost of China backlash
A German soccer club and one of the country’s star players are feeling the heat from China.  News emerged over the weekend that Bundesliga side Cologne lost a deal with a Chinese gambling sponsor. Meanwhile, state-controlled Chinese media are still blacklisting Arsenal star and former German international player Mesut Özil. According to Cologne newspaper Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, the loss for the postponed deal was about $1.66 million.  The club did not offer comment but confirmed that the sponsors from China had withdrawn the potential deal, reported Deutsche Welle online. Cologne made headlines last month when they chose to postpone a joint academy with the Chinese soccer club Liaoning.  The
‘There are values higher than money’: German soccer club scraps China deal
German soccer club FC Cologne has pulled out of a $2 million deal to run a football academy in northeast China, as a member of the club council said they should not support “such a totalitarian and brutal dictatorship.” Cologne’s president, Werner Wolf, told the local paper Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger on Wednesday that the Bundesliga club had decided not to proceed with the project. Stefan Müller-Römer, a member of the club council, told the paper: “I understand that the Federal Republic of Germany cannot get past the economic power of China completely and so there is an exchange. But we don’t need China in sports.” He also said that human rights in China were being massively disregarded and a su
Soccer star sparks controversy with Xinjiang social media posts
Arsenal midfielder Mesut Özil has become the latest international celebrity caught in a political storm in China after he strongly criticized Beijing’s policies in Xinjiang. The German soccer player hit out at the Muslim world’s silence over allegations of widespread human rights abuses in the far western region, where a million mainly Uygur Muslims have reportedly been detained in re-education camps. The comments prompted a backlash from Chinese newspapers and social media users, some of whom accused him of “hurting the feelings of the Chinese people.” China’s state broadcaster CCTV did not air Arsenal’s Sunday matchup against Manchester City. Özil, whose family originates from Turkey, pos