Weekly Brief December 29th
World Uyghur Congress, 29 December 2017
Collection of DNA from Uyghur People by Chinese Authorities a Major Concern
As was reported in the Pacific Standard Magazine, the actions taken by the Chinese government to gather DNA and biometric data from the Uyghur people, Chinese dissidents and other ethnic populations should be a major concern for all of the world’s citizens. The mass collection of biometric data is being used to create a massive database to more easily monitor and control the Uyghur population and to silence dissenters. This is being done on an unprecedented scale and has been assisted by an American firm Thermo Fischer Scientific. This dystopian and repressive approach will surely have impacts beyond those on the Uyghur and Chinese populations. The rest of the world should be very concerned about what is occurring, as other repressive government may soon follow China’s example.
Increased Surveillance on Uyghurs Sends “Relatives” into Homes
Chinese authorities launch so-called “relatives’ week” program this month, which requires local civil servants to spend a week with Uyghur families in rural areas by the year’s end. The Chinese authorities claim that the program is mean to promote ethnic harmony between the Uyghur and Han populations, but it more likely gives the Chinese government an excuse to search Uyghurs houses and to monitor them more closely. Forcing Uyghurs to accept strangers into their houses is not the best way of promoting ethnic harmony and reinforces the perceived dynamic of Han Chinese dominance. This policy also constitutes a violation of these families right to privacy, as the Chinese authorities take increasingly invasive steps to monitor the Uyghur people.
Historians Dismiss China’s Claims to East Turkestan Based on Han Dynasty Literature
Attempts by the Chinese government to rewrite history and claim that East Turkestan is historically Chinese land has been dealt a blow after a number of historians discredited this false account through reference to Han Dynasty literature. The Chinese government continues to attempt to alter history to justify its repressive and assimilatory actions in East Turkestan.