Have Xinjiang’s camps been closed?

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A few months ago, an intriguing article in the Washington Post shed light on the latest situation Xinjiang, the western region of China where the Uighur minority live. The two journalists, Eva Dou and Cate Cadell, saw on their travels around the region last summer that many of the infamous re-education camps had been shut down, or turned into quarantine centres. A new phase of Beijing’s campaign in Xinjiang seems to have started. So what’s really going on there now, and what does this mean for the lives of the Uyghur people? I’m joined by Professor James Millward from Georgetown University, author of Eurasian crossroads: a history of Xinjiang, to find out. Jim had

The BBC’s mysterious missing Xinjiang evidence

Parliament has packed up for the holidays, with MPs and peers spending their final days in SW1 desperately dodging the omnipresent Omicron variant. But Mr S was intrigued to see an interesting intervention in the Lords on the day that recess was declared. Crossbench peer Baroness Finlay popped up to grill Foreign Office minister Lord Ahmad about China’s treatment of Uighurs in Xinjiang, an unusual topic for the professor of palliative medicine to raise.  She told Ahmad that she understood the BBC ‘has film evidence of the atrocities’ that have been addressed in the Uyghur Tribunal, but that the Corporation has been ‘reluctant to show the programmes to date, having set the evidential test so unrealistically

Truss fails her first big test

Can anything stop the irresistible rise of Liz Truss? The power-dressing insta lover reinvented herself at International Trade, becoming the darling of the Tory faithful and rising to the top of the ConservativeHome ministerial rankings, where she sits 15 points ahead of her nearest rival. Having served at the top table of Tory politics since 2014, the longest serving Cabinet minister was finally given a Great Office of State eight weeks ago when Boris Johnson entrusted her with the Foreign Office. Since taking up the role, Truss and her allies have been keen to project a more Sinosceptic image than her defenestrated predecessor Dominic Raab. Just this weekend, the Mail on Sunday

The US tech companies behind China’s mass surveillance

In January, the United States declared that China’s brutal treatment of the Uighur people in Xinjiang amounted to genocide. ‘I believe this genocide is ongoing, and we are witnessing the systematic attempt to destroy the Uighurs by the Chinese party-state,’ said Mike Pompeo, the former US secretary of state. British MPs made a similar declaration in April. Beijing fervently denies the accusation, and some experts maintain that ‘cultural genocide’ is a more appropriate label. But whatever we call it, the systematic attempt to erase Uighur identity, culture and history is a heinous crime against humanity. In The Perfect Police State the American journalist Geoffrey Cain shows how Xinjiang, China’s remote

How China is stoking racial tensions in the West

Footage of a brutal late March attack on a 65-year-old Asian American woman in Manhattan drew widespread outrage on social media. It also made for a productive afternoon for Zhao Lijian. From his Beijing office, the Chinese government spokesman retweeted 20 posts and shared the video 12 times on his official Twitter account. ‘We can’t help but wonder, who will be the next victim? When will it all end?’ he asked his almost 900,000 followers. Zhao isn’t the only one who’s been busy. In the wake of the Atlanta spa shootings on March 16, Chinese state media used Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to stoke a narrative of American racism and

Why does China think it can bully backbench MPs like me?

Does the Chinese Communist Party understand how our parliamentary democracy works? The evidence from the last 24 hours suggests not. Along with some of my Conservative colleagues in the House of Commons – Sir Iain Duncan Smith, Tim Loughton, Tom Tugendhat and Neil O’Brien – as well as two peers, a QC and an academic, I have been banned from entering China, had any assets in China frozen (not that I have any there) and have had Chinese citizens and institutions prohibited from doing business with me. All because I have voiced well-evidenced concerns about the persecution of the Uyghur Muslim minority by the Chinese government. The Beijing authorities, in

The truth about China’s genocide against the Uyghurs

Last night, the BBC showed witnesses giving stomach-turning testimony about organised rape and torture inflicted upon Uyghurs in China’s far west region of Xinjiang. Victims and former guards, now abroad and willing to talk, spoke of electric batons inserted into women’s genitalia, gang rape by police, an organised rape in front of 100 other women forced to watch with those who looked away punished, and the forcible sterilisation of a 20-year-old. As one witness said: ‘Everyone who leaves the camps is finished.’ In January, both the outgoing and incoming American Secretaries of State confirmed their view that the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) treatment of Uyghurs constituted genocide. Not some analogous