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Secret Documents Blow Lid Off Hidden China Policy

Beijing is detaining ethnic minorities 'before they commit a crime'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 24, 2019 1:00 PM CST
A sample of classified Chinese government documents leaked to a consortium of news organizations, is displayed for a picture in New York, Friday, Nov. 22, 2019.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

(Newser) – The watch towers, double-locked doors, and video surveillance in the Chinese camps are there "to prevent escapes." Uighurs and other minorities held inside are scored on how well they speak the dominant Mandarin language and follow strict rules on everything down to bathing and using the toilet, scores that determine if they can leave, the AP reports. "Manner education" is mandatory, but "vocational skills improvement" is offered only after a year in the camps. Voluntary job training is the reason the Chinese government has given for detaining more than a million ethnic minorities, most of them Muslims. But a classified blueprint leaked to the media shows the camps are instead precisely what former detainees have described: Forced ideological and behavioral re-education centers run in secret.

The classified documents lay out the Chinese government’s deliberate strategy to lock up ethnic minorities even before they commit a crime, to rewire their thoughts and the language they speak. The papers also show how Beijing is pioneering a new form of social control using data and artificial intelligence. Drawing on data collected by mass surveillance technology, computers issued the names of tens of thousands of people for interrogation or detention in just one week. Experts say the documents spell out a vast system that targets, surveils, and grades entire ethnicities to forcibly assimilate and subdue them—especially Uighurs, a predominantly Muslim Turkic minority of more than 10 million people with their own language and culture. Click for the full article.

(Read more China stories.)

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