What is going on with China’s Muslim population and how did we get here? These are questions some may be asking. After all, for over a year we have been told tales of how the Chinese Uyghur population is under siege from the atheistic communists in China. Things are so bad that, we are told, they have forced up to half of the Uyghur population in Xinjiang province into concentration camps. Truly these are interesting times. Unfortunately, interesting times are not always accompanied by the truth and this situation is no exception.
China has a big Muslim population that mainly live in the western areas of the country (closer to the former Soviet republics) and it is true that quite a few of them have indeed been placed under state watch/arrest. But it is not true that they are all housed in concentration camps. This may sound like a trite point to make but they have instead been sent to re-education camps. The difference may be lost on some who view all camps (concentration, labour, death and re-education) as one in the same, but they are not. It is the equivalent of saying the murderer and the petty thief are facing the same punishment since they are incarcerated, even though the murderer is slated for execution while the thief is merely in for 30 days.
A re-education camp is for just that — re-education of the individual from the deviant ideology towards one more orthodox and accepted. In this instance we have a re-education camp geared towards instilling an ideology more in line with the thinking of the CCP, similar to Saudi, American and British re-education centres aimed at steering radicalised Islamists towards a more mainstream and orthodox Islam.
But why would Beijing set up re-education camps, what have the Uyghurs done? Some of the Uyghurs in the Chinese province have taken up arms as they seek to create an independent home nation, while some have taken up arms in answering the calls emanating from al-Qaida and ISIS. Interesting, but why now may be the question some ask.
To answer that, one must look at a map while also being aware of current geopolitics. The province in question is on the border with Pakistan/Afghanistan and is a key point for China’s Belt and Road Initiative (the new ‘Silk Road’) as it leads to the former Soviet republics and eventually to Iran. This insurgency in the province has been fomented by the US and her allies, and rather than being some conspiracy theory dreamed up by a madman, it is actually a reality, a reasonable plan (from the US perspective), said quite openly, and sadly (for them) is bound to fail.
Col. Larry Wilkerson, who worked as Chief of Staff for then US Secretary of State Colin Powell has acknowledged that Pentagon officials have deliberately planted bases in strategic areas of Afghanistan in order to:
- Choke the Belt and Road Initiative;
- Stir up the Muslim population so that China is forced to focus more on internal matters; and
- Provide partisans and allies with assistance as the US seeks to encircle and harry China on the land.
Love or loath Americans, the plan makes sense in a macabre way because if the US hopes to remain the sole superpower then it must check China. In fact, the US has been stirring up unrest amongst the Uyghurs since as far back as 1949 as it sought to unseat the victorious communists (also continued in Tibet).
Unfortunately for the US, China is not the former USSR, and encirclement, strangulation and piecemeal breakups simply won’t work in this case. The fact is that China. unlike the USSR, is a crucial lynchpin in the global economy. China trades with everybody; everybody gets goods made in China or made by Chinese companies (in say, Vietnam). Strangling China at this point would be akin to cutting out one’s lungs and liver and heart in order to stop the cancer from spreading. In short, it is pointless as it ends up destroying the malady (in this case the upstart China) while also killing the patient (in this case both the US and the global economy).
Now, it is true that China has locked up quite a few Uyghur Muslims, that is beyond denial and it is true that Chinese prisons and re-education camps are not beds of roses, but neither are US prisons or UK prisons or Italian migrant camps, etc (and that is not an excuse or me okaying whatever goes on in Chinese prisons). It is true that the province wishes to be independent, but then so do Texas and California and Scotland. We even see people getting arrested and grandmothers bloodied in a bid for Catalonia to gain independence. We need to stop lying to ourselves and the people in general and simply admit that this sudden care and concern for the Uyghur Muslims in China is in the same vein as the concern for the Tibetans, namely the downfall of the CCP and break up of China as we know it.
If people really care about Xinjiang and want the internments to end, then call your political representative, preferably the foreign minister, and demand that they tell the US to stop playing silly geopolitical games which involve funding terrorists.
It is a game tried in the USSR (with some success), tried again in Yugoslavia (with even less success) and it always ends badly. Tell them to demand that the US and her allies drop the centuries old dream of dominating the China market and work together in what is fast becoming a multi-polar world.
It is not our place to dictate how another nation handles its business, and if/when it does get to that stage then it is the realm of the UN. We should not be allowing these machinations to continue as it will, in the end, (as drone warfare has) proliferate in a manner we can’t imagine.
Nobody finds it strange that in the recent years China has come under such heavy scrutiny from rights groups and international organisations (and in some areas they should, as they can be nasty actors). Why China and not the US, which is still aiding Saudi Arabia; or the UK, which has broken all sorts of laws with the arrest of Assange?
If we continue to not do due diligence on these matters while also politicising them, then in the end it will be turned on those who act in this manner. Just as China has troubles in the western Xinjiang province, what is to stop China from funding separatists in say New Mexico or Washington state? That is what we are opening ourselves up to as we allow the US and company to both finance terror and spout baseless propaganda.
There is no altruism here, just raw dollars and cents as well as an urge to maintain supremacy and unipolarity. To those genuinely concerned, I say take your protest to the UN and leave it there, let them investigate and then turn your ire to the US and friends who have, if anything, given China a valid reason to crackdown.
To those who just insist on parroting lines spouted from some American or European think tank I say read a few books or news articles, because you sound like idiots when you spout this nonsense and make the world a very dangerous place from Odessa all the way to Quebec.