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A Week in Xinjiang’s Absolute Surveillance State (palladiummag.com)
44 points by crunchiebones 47 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 20 comments



> I have no agenda, I love China.

> Yet again, the Chinese government congratulates itself in having solved terrorism without war, and credit where it’s due, it has.

“The People’s War on Terror” and sending a million people to jail...

> Xinjiang appears to have no criminality whatsoever, and the police in the streets are unarmed. Meanwhile France has soldiers, not police, patrolling the streets of Paris.

This level of naivety is absurd. He seems to have an incredible ability to look without seeing. Or lacks the capability to think critically.

Let’s summarise the entire article:

- people go to xinjian as tourists

- people are treated as tourists

- people see xinjian as a tourist would, while being treated as a tourist.

I was in Turkey shortly after the latest coup. I wasn’t stopped by ANY police. I wasn’t arrested even ONCE. There’s obviously no problems there for those in the political minority, because I had such a nice time....


Agreed. For a less reductive perspective, I've found Emily Feng's reporting for the FT to be informative [0,1,2]. I'd be interested in other reading recommendations, if anyone has them.

[0] https://www.ft.com/content/ac0ffb2e-8b36-11e8-b18d-0181731a0...

[1] https://www.ft.com/content/721192f4-a1fa-11e8-85da-eeb7a9ce3...

[2] https://www.ft.com/content/f0d3223a-7f4d-11e8-bc55-50daf11b7...


The Chinese government are even integrating Han Chinese "mothers" into Uighur families: https://www.apnews.com/9ca1c29fc9554c1697a8729bba4dd93b

What we're seeing is a complete cultural genocide by the Chinese government. The propaganda, cameras, and security noted in the article are just the tip of the iceberg. The US government should be hitting China hard with the Magnitsky Act for these human rights violations.


It's naivity at best. At worst it's this:

> He watched on. Now that he had changed sides to the SS, he admired the strength of Fritz and the police man even more. He finally had left the camp of those who were wretched enough to let themselves be bludgeoned like that. He was glad to have made his choice. He did no longer have to fear the suspicion of the masters. He was on the side of good. The beatings the men received hardened his consciousness to embody good. One cannot receive beatings and be right, one cannot be dirty, eat garbage and be right.

-- Robert Antelme, "The human race"

And there is not a single spot in between these poles where a person could be found and remain in the intellectual, moral and social tradition of the best humanity has and is. The people who sided with the Nazis also didn't feel what they had done in that moment. Yet they had done it. It took Europe turning to rubble and death camps being discovered, but they had done it much, much earlier.

Nobody who understand that can be moved by numbers. A human adult responds to human adults, and obedience and adulthood are incompatible.

Speaking of seriously still excusing totalitarianism in the 21st century: China is the country which realized last that the Earth isn't flat, and they needed Jesuit missionaries of all people for that. So as a German, who doesn't even accept what the US is doing because it has no clue what it is doing, who is shitting bricks about what Germany is doing in so many respects -- I certainly am not entertaining any "they are different, they want that" notions about China when actual fucking concentration camps get built. When a person looks away, what they are okay or not okay with ceases to matter to me.

It's not about what they know, it's about what I know. It's not about what they want, it's about what I MUST NOT partake in, excuse, rationalize, give an inch of room to, ever. Should I ever shrink one inch from this may God strike me dead.

I will not shit on the victims of the Holocaust to humour some fucking contemporaries. I will not shit on the people who get murdered today, either. How dare anyone to even think suggesting otherwise, to anyone, much less people in the West with our history and our libraries. Unforgiveable. You can sign away your own human rights, not those of others.


That million number gets thrown around but from what I’ve read, it’s just a guess.

For perspective, the US has about 2.3 million in “rehabilitation centers” so a million doesn’t seem outlandish I suppose.


You’re right, it’s an estimate.

Considering there are approx 10M Uighur people in Xinjiang, even a conservative 500k in detention is 1 in 20.

He mentioned not seeing many young Uighur men on the streets. I wonder where they’re hanging out...


While this estimate is eye opening it has to be compared to the ratio of black men in prison in the US, which is about 7%. One could argue that both high incarceration rates are results of policies to keep certain ethnic groups in control. (war on drugs as a continuation of Jim Crow laws in the US)


> before some stupid white guy tries to be a hero, provokes the Chinese government, and this beautiful region gets the Tibet treatment.

Way to denigrate by gender and race!

Aside from that, the architect of the police state in this region developed these techniques in Tibet, and the understanding is that once they are perfected here, they will be applied to the rest of the country.


I think you're overreacting. I'm a white guy, and this didn't stand out to me one bit. He actually makes a good point.

tomohawk 47 days ago [flagged]

Let's try the substitution test

"before some stupid black girl tries to be a hero"

It's usually best to not pair gender and race with a pejorative.


Isn’t the author a white male?

If the author was a black woman, I think your substituted statement would be more of a commentary on how she perceives her own role in society.

There are many Black, Latino, Asian, and White writers that will comment on their own ethnic and cultural background in their writing.


only apply to American, and the rest of world don't give a concern for this.


It’s an unfortunate phrase (but tongue in cheek) and it’s worth reading beyond that. Author writes in a very conversational style but full of anecdotes and insights. Id say it’s worth reading. Overall gives an impression of what one might expect there as a visitor as well as projecting if one lived there.


Interestingly, the chairman of Xinjiang is Shohrat Zakir, an ethnic Muslim Uighur who was sent to a re-education camp back in the 1970s.


Re-educated he was, for sure


Considering the recent Reuters research:

https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/muslims-...

> "One other thing that is very visible in its absence. Young men. You see plenty of people in the streets: lots of children, lots of mothers of children, and many young women, especially running restaurants and small shops. Old people in their typical Uyghur garb, men with their hats and beards, and women with their head coverings. Oddly, many middle-aged ladies covered their hair, but wore high-heeled shoes. But very few young men. The ones we did see were the mellow kind, the sort of boy who was a good student in class. I’ve traveled extensively around the world, and everywhere you can see groups of strong, tall, young men just hanging around, sort of looking for trouble. Young men do that. Young men hanging around doing nothing but looking intimidating exist everywhere, including China, even Japan or Singapore. But not in Xinjiang. As for where they are, your guess is as good as mine."

I think Reuters found where they are located.


It is due to Chinese intolerance of drugs which comes from their XIX century experience. In West you achieve the same means (mind control and social stability) with video games and legalized marijuana.


I can't imagine how expensive it must be to keep this type of omnipresent security running 24/7. I'm guessing if the Chinese economy ever starts to take a downward hit, it'll be something like this that gets the axe.



Wow. That’s far less than I imagined.




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